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

William Wordsworth

380. The Green Linnet

BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed

Their snow-white blossoms on my head,

With brightest sunshine round me spread

Of Spring’s unclouded weather,

In this sequester’d nook how sweet

To sit upon my orchard-seat!

And flowers and birds once more to greet,

My last year’s friends together.

One have I mark’d, the happiest guest

In all this covert of the blest:

Hail to Thee, far above the rest

In joy of voice and pinion!

Thou, Linnet! in thy green array

Presiding Spirit here to-day

Dost lead the revels of the May,

And this is thy dominion.

While birds, and butterflies, and flowers,

Make all one band of paramours,

Thou, ranging up and down the bowers

Art sole in thy employment;

A Life, a Presence like the air,

Scattering thy gladness without care,

Too blest with any one to pair,

Thyself thy own enjoyment.

Amid yon tuft of hazel trees

That twinkle to the gusty breeze,

Behold him perch’d in ecstasies

Yet seeming still to hover;

There, where the flutter of his wings

Upon his back and body flings

Shadows and sunny glimmerings,

That cover him all over.

My dazzled sight he oft deceives—

A brother of the dancing leaves;

Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves

Pours forth his song in gushes,

As if by that exulting strain

He mock’d and treated with disdain

The voiceless Form he chose to feign,

While fluttering in the bushes.