Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
To Hartley Coleridge
William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
 
Six Years Old

O THOU whose fancies from afar are brought;
Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel,
And fittest to unutterable thought
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol,
Thou fairy voyager! that dost float        5
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly stream—
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;        10
O blessèd vision! happy child!
Thou art so exquisitely wild,
I think of thee with many fears
For what may be thy lot in future years.
 
I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest,        15
Lord of thy house and hospitality;
And Grief, uneasy lover, never rest
But when she sat within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!
O vain and causeless melancholy!        20
Nature will either end thee quite;
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
Preserve for thee, by individual right,
A young lamb’s heart among the full-grown flocks.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,        25
Or the injuries of to-morrow?
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
A gem that glitters while it lives,        30
And no forewarning gives,
But, at the touch of wrongs, without a strife,
Slips in a moment out of life.
 
 
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