In this installment, Elaine Sexton reads “Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth. Sexton is the author of Sleuth, a collection of poems published by New Issues Press (Western Michigan University) in 2003, and Causeway, forthcoming with New Issues in Spring 2008. Her poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in numerous journals including American Poetry Review, ARTnews, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Women’s Review of Books, the Writer’s Chronicle (AWP), and online with Poetry Daily.
William Wordsworth, “Lines Written in Early Spring”
I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:–
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?