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Poem by William Wordsworth
Lucy Gray, or Solitude
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray: And, when I crossed the wild, I chanced to see at break of day The solitary child. No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; She dwelt on a wide moor, - The sweetest thing that ever grew Beside a human door! You yet may spy the fawn at play, The hare upon the green; But the sweet face of Lucy Gray Will never more be seen. "To-night will be a stormy night - You to the town must go; And take a lantern, Child, to light Your mother through the snow." "That, Father! will I gladly do: 'Tis scarcely afternoon - The minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the moon!" At this the Father raised his hook, And snapped a faggot-band; He plied his work;-and Lucy took The lantern in her hand. Not blither is the mountain roe: With many a wanton stroke Her feet disperse the powdery snow, That rises up like smoke. The storm came on before its time: She wandered up and down; And many a hill did Lucy climb: But never reached the town. The wretched parents all that night Went shouting far and wide; But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide. At day-break on a hill they stood That overlooked the moor; And thence they saw the bridge of wood, A furlong from their door. They wept-and, turning homeward, cried, "In heaven we all shall meet;" - When in the snow the mother spied The print of Lucy's feet. Then downwards from the steep hill's edge They tracked the footmarks small; And through the broken hawthorn hedge, And by the long stone-wall; And then an open field they crossed: The marks were still the same; They tracked them on, nor ever lost; And to the bridge they came. They followed from the snowy bank Those footmarks, one by one, Into the middle of the plank; And further there were none! - Yet some maintain that to this day She is a living child; That you may see sweet Lucy Gray Upon the lonesome wild. O'er rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind; And sings a solitary song That whistles in the wind.
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