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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Two April Mornings

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

WE walked along, while bright and red

Uprose the morning sun:

And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said,

‘The will of God be done!’

A village schoolmaster was he,

With hair of glittering grey;

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 travelled 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, to the churchyard come, stopped 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 seemed, than till that day

I e’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 tripped with foot so free;

She seemed as happy as a wave

That dances on the sea.

‘There came from me a sigh of pain

Which I could ill confine;

I looked at her, and looked 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.