Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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POEMS ON THE NAMING OF PLACES

I

          IT was an April morning: fresh and clear
          The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,
          Ran with a young man's speed; and yet the voice
          Of waters which the winter had supplied
          Was softened down into a vernal tone.
          The spirit of enjoyment and desire,
          And hopes and wishes, from all living things
          Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
          The budding groves seemed eager to urge on
          The steps of June; as if their various hues                 10
          Were only hindrances that stood between
          Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed
          Such an entire contentment in the air
          That every naked ash, and tardy tree
          Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance
          With which it looked on this delightful day
          Were native to the summer.--Up the brook
          I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
          Alive to all things and forgetting all.
          At length I to a sudden turning came                        20
          In this continuous glen, where down a rock
          The Stream, so ardent in its course before,
          Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
          Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
          Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,
          The shepherd's dog, the linnet and the thrush
          Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,
          Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
          Or like some natural produce of the air,
          That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here;         30
          But 'twas the foliage of the rocks--the birch,
          The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,
          With hanging islands of resplendent furze:
          And, on a summit, distant a short space,
          By any who should look beyond the dell,
          A single mountain-cottage might be seen.
          I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,
          "Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,
          My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee."
          ----Soon did the spot become my other home,                 40
          My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
          And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
          To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
          Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
          Years after we are gone and in our graves,
          When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
          May call it by the name of EMMA'S DELL.
                                                              1800.


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