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

The Green Linnet

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

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 sequestered nook how sweet

To sit upon my orchard-seat!

And birds and flowers once more to greet,

My last year’s friends together.

Once have I marked, 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.

Upon yon tuft of hazel trees,

That twinkle to the gusty breeze,

Behold him perched 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 mocked and treated with disdain

The voiceless Form he chose to feign,

While fluttering in the bushes.