Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHILD THREE YEARS OLD

          LOVING she is, and tractable, though wild;
          And Innocence hath privilege in her
          To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes;
          And feats of cunning; and the pretty round
          Of trespasses, affected to provoke
          Mock-chastisement and partnership in play.
          And, as a faggot sparkles on the hearth,
          Not less if unattended and alone
          Than when both young and old sit gathered round
          And take delight in its activity;                           10
          Even so this happy Creature of herself
          Is all-sufficient, solitude to her
          Is blithe society, who fills the air
          With gladness and involuntary songs.
          Light are her sallies as the tripping fawn's
          Forth-startled from the fern where she lay couched;
          Unthought-of, unexpected, as the stir
          Of the soft breeze ruffling the meadow-flowers,
          Or from before it chasing wantonly
          The many-coloured images imprest                            20
          Upon the bosom of a placid lake.
                                                              1811.


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