Home  »  The Complete Poetical Works by William Wordsworth  »  THE POET AND THE CAGED TURTLEDOVE


AS often as I murmur here My half-formed melodies, Straight from her osier mansion near, The Turtledove replies: Though silent as a leaf before, The captive promptly coos; Is it to teach her own soft lore, Or second my weak Muse? I rather think, the gentle Dove Is murmuring a reproof, 10 Displeased that I from lays of love Have dared to keep aloof; That I, a Bard of hill and dale, Have carolled, fancy free, As if nor dove nor nightingale, Had heart or voice for me. If such thy meaning, O forbear, Sweet Bird! to do me wrong; Love, blessed Love, is everywhere The spirit of my song: 20 ‘Mid grove, and by the calm fireside, Love animates my lyre– That coo again!–’tis not to chide, I feel, but to inspire. 1830.