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WILLIAM WORDSWORTH She had a rustic, woodland air,

And she was wildly clad: (1770-1850)

Her eyes were fair, and very fair;

-Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
Dear native regions, I foretell,

How many may you be???
From what I feel at this farewell,

“How many? Seven in all,” she said
That, wheresoe 'er my steps may tend, And wondering looked at me.

16 And whensoe 'er my course shall end,

"And where are they? I pray you tell.”
If in that hour a single tie

She answered, “Seven are we;
Survive of local sympathy,

And two of us at Conway dwell,
My soul will cast the backward view,

And two are gone to sea.
The longing look alone on you.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Thus, while the Sun sinks down to rest My sister and my brother;
Far in the regions of the west,

And in the church-yard cottage, I
Though to the vale no parting beam Dwell near them with my mother.”

Be given, not one memorial gleam,
A lingering light he fondly throws

You say that two at Conway dwell,
On the dear hills where first he rose.

And two are gone to sea.
Yet ye are seven!—I pray you tell,

Sweet Maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little Maid reply,
-A simple Child,

“Seven boys and girls are we; That lightly draws its breath,

Two of us in the church-yard lie, And feels its life in every limb,

Beneath the church-yard tree.”

32 What should it know of death 9

You run about, my little Maid, I met a little cottage Girl:

Your limbs they are alive; She he was eight years old, she said;

If two are in the church-yard laid, Her hair was thick with many a curl

Then ye are only five.” That clustered round her head.

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,'

The little Maid replied,
Stordsworth thought it worth while to print "Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,

this “extract from the conclusion of a poem".
which was written, at the age of sixteen. And they are side by side.

40 just before he left his school at Hawkshead. It both reveals his strong local attachment and anticipates his reliance upon what be- "My stockings there I often knit, came for him a chief source of poetic in- My kerchief there I hem; spiration, namely, “emotion recollected in tranquillity."

And there upon the ground I sit, jThis, and the two poems that follow it, were And sing a song to them.

among those contributed by Wordsworth to
the joint volume of Lyrical Ballads which
he and Coleridge published in 1798 (see p. “And often after sunset, Sir,
428; also Eng. Lit., pp. 232-235); This poem When it is light and fair,

written to show “the obscurity and
perplexity which in childhood attend our | I take my little porringer,
notion of death, or rather

utter inability to admit that notion." And eat my supper there.

48 415






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