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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

William Wordsworth

366. The Two April Mornings

WE walk’d along, while bright and red

Uprose the morning sun;

And Matthew stopp’d, he look’d, and said

‘The will of God be done!’

A village schoolmaster was he,

With hair of glittering gray;

As blithe a man as you could see

On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass

And by the steaming rills

We travell’d merrily, to pass

A day among the hills.

‘Our work,’ said I, ‘was well begun;

Then from thy breast what thought,

Beneath so beautiful a sun,

So sad a sigh has brought?’

A second time did Matthew stop;

And fixing still his eye

Upon the eastern mountain-top,

To me he made reply:

‘Yon cloud with that long purple cleft

Brings fresh into my mind

A day like this, which I have left

Full thirty years behind.

‘And just above yon slope of corn

Such colours, and no other,

Were in the sky that April morn

Of this the very brother.

‘With rod and line I sued the sport

Which that sweet season gave,

And coming to the church, stopp’d short

Beside my daughter’s grave.

‘Nine summers had she scarcely seen,

The pride of all the vale;

And then she sang:—she would have been

A very nightingale.

‘Six feet in earth my Emma lay;

And yet I loved her more—

For so it seem’d,—than till that day

I ne’er had loved before.

‘And turning from her grave, I met,

Beside the churchyard yew,

A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet

With points of morning dew.

‘A basket on her head she bare;

Her brow was smooth and white:

To see a child so very fair,

It was a pure delight!

‘No fountain from its rocky cave

E’er tripp’d with foot so free;

She seem’d as happy as a wave

That dances on the sea.

‘There came from me a sigh of pain

Which I could ill confine;

I look’d at her, and look’d again:

And did not wish her mine!’

—Matthew is in his grave, yet now

Methinks I see him stand

As at that moment, with a bough

Of wilding in his hand.