O Nightingale! thou surely art
A creature of a ‘fiery heart’:—
These notes of thine — they pierce and pierce;
Tumultuous harmony and fierce!
Thou sing’st as if the God of wine
Had helped thee to a Valentine;
A song in mockery and despite
Of shades, and dews, and silent night;
And steady bliss, and all the loves
Now sleeping in these peaceful groves.
I heard a Stock-dove sing or say
His homely tale, this very day;
His voice was buried among trees,
Yet to be come-at by the breeze:
He did not cease; but cooed — and cooed;
And somewhat pensively he wooed:
He sang of love, with quiet blending,
Slow to begin, and never ending;
Of serious faith, and inward glee;
That was the song — the song for me!
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- 1.F. R. Leavis, Revaluation (1936; Harmondsworth, Mddx: Penguin, 1978) pp. 194, 199.Google Scholar
- 3.These works are summarised by Newman I. White, ‘The Beautiful Angel and his Biographers’, South Atlantic Quarterly, xxiv (1925).Google Scholar
- 4.The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth: The Middle Years, vol. i, ed. Ernest de Selincourt (Oxford University Press, 1937), p. 195.Google Scholar