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

The Wishing-gate Destroyed

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

’TIS gone—with old belief and dream

That round it clung, and tempting scheme

Released from fear and doubt;

And the bright landscape too must lie,

By this blank wall, from every eye,

Relentlessly shut out.

Bear witness ye who seldom passed

That opening—but a look ye cast

Upon the lake below,

What spirit-stirring power it gained

From faith which here was entertained,

Though reason might say no.

Blest is that ground, where, o’er the springs

Of history, Glory claps her wings,

Fame sheds the exulting tear;

Yet earth is wide, and many a nook

Unheard of is, like this, a book

For modest meanings dear.

It was in sooth a happy thought

That grafted, on so fair a spot,

So confident a token

Of coming good;—the charm is fled,

Indulgent centuries spun a thread,

Which one harsh day has broken.

Alas! for him who gave the word;

Could he no sympathy afford,

Derived from earth or heaven,

To hearts so oft by hope betrayed;

Their very wishes wanted aid

Which here was freely given?

Where, for the lovelorn maiden’s wound,

Will now so readily be found

A balm of expectation?

Anxious for far-off children, where

Shall mothers breathe a like sweet air

Of home-felt consolation?

And not unfelt will prove the loss

’Mid trivial care and petty cross

And each day’s shallow grief:

Though the most easily beguiled

Were oft among the first that smiled

At their own fond belief.

If still the reckless change we mourn,

A reconciling thought may turn

To harm that might lurk here,

Ere judgment prompted from within

Fit aims, with courage to begin,

And strength to persevere.

Not Fortune’s slave is Man: our state

Enjoins, while firm resolves await

On wishes just and wise,

That strenuous action follow both,

And life be one perpetual growth

Of heaven-ward enterprise.

So taught, so trained, we boldly face

All accidents of time and place;

Whatever props may fail,

Trust in that sovereign law can spread

New glory o’er the mountain’s head,

Fresh beauty through the vale.

That truth informing mind and heart,

The simplest cottager may part,

Ungrieved, with charm and spell;

And yet, lost Wishing-gate, to thee

The voice of grateful memory

Shall bid a kind farewell!