Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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THE POET AND THE CAGED TURTLEDOVE

          AS often as I murmur here
            My half-formed melodies,
          Straight from her osier mansion near,
            The Turtledove replies:
          Though silent as a leaf before,
            The captive promptly coos;
          Is it to teach her own soft lore,
            Or second my weak Muse?

          I rather think, the gentle Dove
            Is murmuring a reproof,                                   10
          Displeased that I from lays of love
            Have dared to keep aloof;
          That I, a Bard of hill and dale,
            Have carolled, fancy free,
          As if nor dove nor nightingale,
            Had heart or voice for me.

          If such thy meaning, O forbear,
            Sweet Bird! to do me wrong;
          Love, blessed Love, is everywhere
            The spirit of my song:                                    20
          'Mid grove, and by the calm fireside,
            Love animates my lyre--
          That coo again!--'tis not to chide,
            I feel, but to inspire.
                                                              1830.


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