Tintern Abbey
Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

  Five years have past;  five summers, with the length
  Of five long winters!  and again I hear
  These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
  With a soft inland murmur.  Once again
  Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
  That on a wild secluded scene impress
  Thoughts of more deep seclusion;  and connect
  The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
  The day is come when I again repose
  Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
  These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
  Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
  Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves 
  'Mid groves and copses.  Once again I see
  These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
  Of sportive wood run wild:  these pastoral farms,
  Green to the very door;  and wreaths of smoke
  Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
  With some uncertain notice, as might seem
  Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
  Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire 
  The Hermit sits alone.

                                  These beauteous forms,
  Through a long absence, have not been to me
  As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
  But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
  Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
  In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
  Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
  And passing even into my purer mind
  With tranquil restoration: -- feelings, too,
  Of unremembered pleasure;  such, perhaps,
  As have no slight or trivial influence
  On that best portion of a good man's life,
  His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
  Of kindness and of love.  Nor less, I trust,
  To them I may have owed another gift,
  Of aspect more sublime;  that blessed mood,
  In which the burthen of the mystery,
  In which the heavy and the weary weight
  Of all this unintelligible world,
  Is lightened: -- that serene and blessed mood,
  In which the affections gently lead us on, --
  Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
  And even the motion of our human blood
  Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
  In body, and become a living soul:
  While with an eye made quiet by the power 
  Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
  We see into the life of things.

                                                              If this
  Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft --
  In darkness and amid the many shapes
  Of joyless daylight;  when the fretful stir
  Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
  Have hung upon the beatings of my heart --
  How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
  O sylvan Wye!  thou wandered thro' the woods,
  How often has my spirit turned to thee!
    And now, with gleems of half-extinguished thought,
  With many recognitions dim and faint,
  And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
  The picture of the mind revives again:
  While here I stand, not only with the sense
  Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
  That in this moment there is life and food
  Fur future years.  And so I dare to hope,
  Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
  I came among these hills;  when like a roe
  I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
  Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
  Wherever nature led:  more like a man
  Flying from something that he dreads, than one
  Who sought the thing he loved.  for nature then
  (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
  And their glad animal movements all gone by)
  To me was all in all. -- I cannot paint
  What then I was.  The sounding cataract
  Haunted me like a passion:  the tall rock,
  The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
  Their colours and their forms, were then to me
  An appetite; a feeling and a love,
  That had no need of a remoter charm,
  By thought supplied, nor any interest
  Unborrowed from the eye. -- That time is past,
  And all its aching joys are now no more,
  And all its dizzy raptures.  Not for this
  Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur;  other gifts
  Have followed;  for such loss, I would believe,
  Abundant recompense.  For I have learned
  To look on nature, not as in the hour
  Of thoughtless youth;  but hearing oftentimes
  The still, sad music of humanity,
  Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
  To chasten and subdue.  And I have felt
  A presence that disturbs me with the joy
  Of elevated thoughts;  a sense sublime
  Of something far more deeply interfused,
  Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
  And the round ocean and the living air,
  And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
  A motion and a spirit, that impels
  All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
  And rolls through all things.  Therefore am I still
  A lover of the meadows and the woods,
  And moutains;  and of all that we behold
  From this green earth;  of all the mighty world
  Of eye, and ear -- both what they half create,
  And what perceive;  well pleased to recognise
  In nature and the language of the sense,
  The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
  The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
  Of all my moral being.

                                                Nor perchance,
  If I were not thus taught, should I the more
  Suffer my genial spirit to decay:
  For thou art with me here upon the banks
  Of this fair river;  thou my dearest Friend,
  My dear, dear Friend;  and in thy voice I catch
  The language of my former heart, and read
  My former pleasures in the shooting lights
  Of thy wild eyes.  Oh!  yet a little while
  May I behold in thee what I was once,
  My dear, dear Sister!  and this prayer I make
  Knowing that Nature never did betray
  The heart that loved her;  'tis her privilege,
  Through all the years of this our life, to lead
  From joy to joy:  for she can so inform
  The mind that is within us, so impress
  With quietness and beauty, and so feed
  With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
  Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
  Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
  The dreary intercourse of daily life,
  Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
  Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
  Is full of blessings.  Therefore let the moon
  Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
  And let the misty mountain-winds be free
  To blow against thee:  and, in after years,
  When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
  Into a sober pleasure;  when thy mind
  Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
  Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
  For all sweet sounds and harmonies;  oh! then
  If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
  Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
  Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
  And these my exhortations!  Nor, perchance --
  If I should be where I no more can hear
  Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
  Of past existence -- wilt thou then forget
  That on the banks of this delightful stream
  We stood together:  and that I, so long
  A worshipper of Nature, hither came
  Unwearied in that service:  rather say
  With warmer love -- oh! with far deeper zeal
  Of holier love.  Nor wilt thou then forget,
  That after many wanderings, many years
  Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
  And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
  More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

Immortal Poems of the English Language (Williams)