Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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"CALM IS THE FRAGRANT AIR"

          CALM is the fragrant air, and loth to lose
          Day's grateful warmth, tho' moist with falling dews.
          Look for the stars, you'll say that there are none;
          Look up a second time, and, one by one,
          You mark them twinkling out with silvery light,
          And wonder how they could elude the sight!
          The birds, of late so noisy in their bowers,
          Warbled a while with faint and fainter powers,
          But now are silent as the dim-seen flowers:
          Nor does the village Church-clock's iron tone               10
          The time's and season's influence disown;
          Nine beats distinctly to each other bound
          In drowsy sequence--how unlike the sound
          That, in rough winter, oft inflicts a fear
          On fireside listeners, doubting what they hear!
          The shepherd, bent on rising with the sun,
          Had closed his door before the day was done,
          And now with thankful heart to bed doth creep,
          And joins his little children in their sleep.
          The bat, lured forth where trees the lane o'ershade,        20
          Flits and reflits along the close arcade;
          The busy dor-hawk chases the white moth
          With burring note, which Industry and Sloth
          Might both be pleased with, for it suits them both.
          A stream is heard--I see it not, but know
          By its soft music whence the waters flow:
          Wheels and the tread of hoofs are heard no more;
          One boat there was, but it will touch the shore
          With the next dipping of its slackened oar;
          Faint sound, that, for the gayest of the gay,               30
          Might give to serious thought a moment's sway,
          As a last token of man's toilsome day!
                                                              1832.


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