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"By oppression's woes and pains! By your sons in servile chains! We will drain our dearest veins,

But they shall be - shall be free!

"Lay the proud usurpers low! Tyrants fall in every foe!

Liberty's in every blow!

Forward! let us do or die!"


OF a' the airts the wind can blaw,

I dearly like the west,

For there the bonnie lassie lives,

The lassie I lo'e best :

Though wild woods grow, and rivers row,

And mony a hill between ;

Baith day and night, my fancy's flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:

I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:

There's not a bonnie flower that springs,
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There's not a bonnie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.

BUT pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snowflake in the river,
A moment white, then melts forever;
Or like the borealis race,

That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.



WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, a prominent member of the Lake school of poets, was born in Cumberland, England, in 1770, and died in 1850. He was the son of an attorney, and studied at St. John's College, Cambridge. He spent some time in France and Germany, and in 1799 fixed his home- which was presided over by his sister Dorothy (his faithful "guide, philosopher, and friend," throughout his long life)- - at Grasmere. Here he lived till 1808. In 1813 he removed his household gods to Rydal Mount, which was ever after his residence, and is closely associated with the most notable products of his genius. He was a favorite of fortune, having inherited a comfortable estate, and for some years holding a lucrative office under government. In 1843 he was appointed Poet Laureate, succeeding Southey, and received the pension of £300 attached to that dignity as long as he lived. He was married in 1803 to Mary Hutchinson, who survived him, dying in 1859, at the great age of eighty-eight. In his early manhood Wordsworth was visionary and radical, professing republicanism, and avowing himself an admirer of the principles which were illustrated in the French Revolution; but, as often happens, age tempered his fervor, and during the latter half of his life he was unfaltering in his political and religious conservatism. His first book, An Evening Walk, an epistle in verse, was published in 1793; his second, Descriptive Sketches, published in the same year, was cordially praised by Coleridge. Between 1798 and 1814 several editions of his poems were issued, receiving praise and censure in nearly equal proportions. When The Excursion appeared, in 1814, Lord Jeffrey said of it: "This will never do; it is longer, weaker, and tamer than any of Mr. Wordsworth's other productions." On the other hand, William Hazlitt pronounced it almost unsurpassed "in power of intellect, lofty conception, and depth of feeling." On the whole, it must be said that during Wordsworth's life, or at least until within a few years prior to his death, the judgment of the critics on his poetry was in effect unfavorable; but with the great public his writings steadily gained popularity. One of the principal reasons for the hostility of the critics was, no doubt, his energetic protest, by precept and example, against the romantic school of poetry, which, conspicuously represented by Byron, was then in high favor. He endeavored to demonstrate the superiority of simplicity in thought and expression, and in the effort incurred the reproach of silliness. During the last twenty years, however, a more candid and accurate estimate of his work has been made, and the deliberate judgment of the reading world has assigned him an enviable rank among English poets of the nineteenth century. One of the most prominent characteristics of his poetical genius is imaginative power, in which quality so high an authority as Coleridge has affirmed that he was surpassed only by Shakespeare. His mind was strongly philosophical, and his writings exhibit a rare union of philosophical and poetical elements. They are distinctively contemplative, and will always be admired for their faithful interpretation of nature. It is not easy to specify Wordsworth's best composition: The Excursion is perhaps the greatest; but to the common mind some of his lyrics and ballads are most admirable. Among them are Hart Leap Well, Lines to a Cuckoo, The Banks of the Wye, Ruth, etc. Some critics have designated The Solitary Reaper as his finest poem.



THERE was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliff's
And islands of Winander! many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands

Pressed closely palm to palm, and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,

That they might answer him; and they would shout
Across the watery vale, and shout again,
Responsive to his call, with quivering peals,

And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of mirth and jocund din! And, when a lengthened pause
Of silence came and baffled his best skill,
Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene
Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,

Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.

This Boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Fair is the spot, most beautiful the vale

Where he was born: the grassy churchyard hangs
Upon a slope above the village school;
And through that churchyard when my way has led
On summer evenings, I believe that there
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute, looking at the grave in which he lies!


WHEN Ruth was left half desolate,
Her father took another mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom bold.

And she had made a pipe of straw,
And from that oaten pipe could draw

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