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

A Poet!—He Hath Put His Heart to School

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

A POET!—He hath put his heart to school,

Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff

Which Art hath lodged within his hand—must laugh

By precept only, and shed tears by rule.

Thy Art be Nature; the live current quaff,

And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,

In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool

Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.

How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?

Because the lovely little flower is free

Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold;

And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree

Comes not by casting in a formal mould,

But from its own divine vitality.