"The Country Girl" by William Wordsworth: Transcription

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L.E.L.'s Verses and the Keepsake for 1829, Edited by Terence Hoagwood, Martin Jacobsen, and Kathryn Ledbetter





                         50











             THE COUNTRY GIRL.



            BY W. WORDSWORTH.



That happy gleam of vernal eyes,

Those locks from summer's golden skies,

   That o'er thy brow are shed;

That cheek--a kindling of the morn,

That lip--a rose-bud from the thorn,

   I saw; and Fancy sped

To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air,

Of bliss that grows without a care;

Of happiness that never flies--

How can it where love never dies?

Of promise whispering, where no blight

Can reach the innocent delight;

Where Pity to the mind convey'd

In pleasure is the darkest shade,

That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings

From his smoothly-gliding wings.



   What mortal form, what earthly face,

Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,

And mingle colours that could breed

Such rapture, nor want power to feed?

For, had thy charge been idle flowers,

Fair Damsel, o'er my captive mind,

To truth and sober reason blind,













                                                                            

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'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers,

The sweet illusion might have hung for hours!

--Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn,

That touchingly bespeaks thee born

Life's daily tasks with them to share,

Who, whether from their lowly bed

They rise, or rest the weary head,

Do weigh the blessing they entreat

From heaven, and feel what they repeat,

While they give utterance to the prayer

That asks for daily bread.



Published @ RC

October 1998