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To a Young Lady

Who had been reproached for taking long
Walks in the Country.

Dear Child of Nature, let them rail!
--There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbour and a hold,
Where thou a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own delightful days, and be
A light to young and old.

There, healthy as a Shepherd-boy,
As if thy heritage were joy,
And pleasure were thy trade,
Thou, while thy Babes around thee cling,
Shalt shew us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.

Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when grey hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave
But an old age, alive and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
"--_Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claim'd by whoever shall find_."

* * * * *

By their floating Mill,
Which lies dead and still,
Behold yon Prisoners three!
The Miller with two Dames, on the breast of the Thames;
The Platform is small, but there's room for them all;
And they're dancing merrily.

From the shore come the notes
To their Mill where it floats,
To their House and their Mill tether'd fast;
To the small wooden isle where their work to beguile 10
They from morning to even take whatever is given;--
And many a blithe day they have past.

In sight of the Spires
All alive with the fires
Of the Sun going down to his rest,
In the broad open eye of the solitary sky,
They dance,--there are three, as jocund as free,
While they dance on the calm river's breast.

Man and Maidens wheel,
They themselves make the Reel, 20
And their Music's a prey which they seize;
It plays not for them,--what matter! 'tis their's;
And if they had care it has scattered their cares,
While they dance, crying, "Long as ye please!"

They dance not for me,
Yet mine is their glee!
Thus pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claim'd by whoever shall find;
Thus a rich loving-kindness, redundantly kind,
Moves all nature to gladness and mirth. 30

The Showers of the Spring
Rouze the Birds and they sing;
If the Wind do but stir for his proper delight,
Each Leaf, that and this, his neighbour will kiss,
Each Wave, one and t'other, speeds after his Brother;
They are happy, for that is their right!

William Wordsworth