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Poem: It Was an April Morning: Fresh and Clear

The spirit of enjoyment and desire,/And hopes and wishes, from all living things/Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.
nature poem by William Wordsworth
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William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District of England. To commemorate the great Romantic’s birth anniversary, we chose a nature poem by William Wordsworth, the mainstay of his literary oeuvre. His poetry is characterised by a spiritual speculation and lyricism.

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It was an April morning: fresh and clear

The Rivulet, delighting in its strength,

Ran with a young man’s speed; and yet the voice

Of waters which the winter had supplied

Was softened down into a vernal tone.

The spirit of enjoyment and desire,

And hopes and wishes, from all living things

Went circling, like a multitude of sounds.

The budding groves seemed eager to urge on

The steps of June; as if their various hues

Were only hindrances that stood between

Them and their object: but, meanwhile, prevailed

Such an entire contentment in the air

That every naked ash, and tardy tree

Yet leafless, showed as if the countenance

With which it looked on this delightful day

Were native to the summer.–Up the brook

I roamed in the confusion of my heart,

Alive to all things and forgetting all.

At length I to a sudden turning came

In this continuous glen, where down a rock

The Stream, so ardent in its course before,

Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all

Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice

Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,

The shepherd’s dog, the linnet and the thrush

Vied with this waterfall, and made a song,

Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth

Or like some natural produce of the air,

That could not cease to be. Green leaves were here;

But ’twas the foliage of the rocks–the birch,

The yew, the holly, and the bright green thorn,

With hanging islands of resplendent furze:

And, on a summit, distant a short space,

By any who should look beyond the dell,

A single mountain-cottage might be seen.

I gazed and gazed, and to myself I said,

‘Our thoughts at least are ours; and this wild nook,

My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.’

—-Soon did the spot become my other home,

My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.

And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,

To whom I sometimes in our idle talk

Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,

Years after we are gone and in our graves,

When they have cause to speak of this wild place,

May call it by the name of EMMA’S DELL.

Image courtesy: Pixabay

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) is one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in English poetry.

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