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Poem by William Wordsworth


Written with a Slate-Pencil upon a Stone, 
the Largest of a Heap Lying near a Deserted Quarry, 
upon One of the Islands at Rydal

STRANGER! this hillock of misshapen stones
Is not a ruin spared or made by time,
Nor, as perchance thou rashly deemst, the cairn
Of some old British chief: t is nothing more
Than the rude embyro of a little dome
Or pleasure-house, once destined to be built
Among the birch-trees of this rocky isle.
But, as it chanced, Sir William having learned
That from the shore a full-grown man might wade,
And make himself a freeman of this spot	
At any hour he chose, the prudent knight
Desisted, and the quarry and the mound
Are monuments of his unfinished task.
The block on which these lines are traced, perhaps,
Was once selected as the corner-stone
Of that intended pile, which would have been
Some quaint odd plaything of elaborate skill,
So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush,
And other little builders who dwell here,
Had wondered at the work. But blame him not,
For old Sir William was a gentle knight,
Bred in this vale, to which he appertained
With all his ancestry. Then peace to him,
And for the outrage which he had devised,
Entire forgiveness! But if thou art one	
On fire with thy impatience to become
An inmate of these mountains,if, disturbed
By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hewn
Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim mansion destined soon to blaze
In snow-white splendor,think again; and, taught
By old Sir William and his quarry, leave
Thy fragments to the bramble and the rose;
There let the venial slow-worm sun himself,
And let the redbreast hop from stone to stone.

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth's other poems:
  1. In the Frith of Clyde, Ailsa Crag
  2. Mosgiel Farm
  3. Inside of Kings College Chapel, Cambridge: Continued
  4. The Springs of Dove
  5. The Wishing-gate

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Keats Lines ("UNFELT unheard, unseen")
  • Samuel Coleridge Lines ("RICHER than miser oer his countless hoards")
  • Thomas Hood Lines ("Let Us Make a Leap, My Dear")
  • Thomas Hardy Lines ("Before we part to alien thoughts and aims")
  • Samuel Johnson Lines ("Wheresoe'er I turn my view") 1777
  • Francis Thompson Lines ("O tree of many branches! One thou hast")
  • Robert Burns Lines ("I MURDER hate by field or flood") 1790
  • Letitia Landon Lines ("She kneels by the grave where her lover sleeps")
  • Oliver Holmes Lines ("COME back to your mother, ye children, for shame")
  • Joseph Drake Lines ("Day gradual fades, in evening gray")
  • Ebenezer Elliott Lines ("FROM Shirecliffe, oer a silent sea of trees")
  • George Morris Lines ("O Love! the mischief thou hast done!")
  • John Lockhart Lines ("When youthful faith hath fled")
  • Thomas Talfourd Lines ("HOW simple in their grandeur are the forms ")
  • John Reade Lines ("I KNELT down as I poured my spirit forth by that gray gate")

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