Knowledge poems/ page 1 of 75 /
O true and tried, so well and long,
Demand not thou a marriage lay;
In that it is thy marriage day
Is music more than any song.
Thus far, O Friend! have we, though leaving muchUnvisited, endeavour'd to retraceMy life through its first years, and measured backThe way I travell'd when I first beganTo love the woods and fields; the passion yetWas in its birth, sustain'd, as might befal,By nourishment that came unsought, for still,From week to week, from month to month, we liv'dA round of tumult: duly were our gamesProlong'd in summer till the day-light fail'd;No chair remain'd before the doors, the benchAnd threshold steps were empty; fast asleepThe Labourer, and the old Man who had sate,A later lingerer, yet the revelryContinued, and the loud uproar: at last,When all the ground was dark, and the huge cloudsWere edged with twinkling stars, to bed we went,With weary joints, and with a beating mind
--Was it for thisThat one, the fairest of all Rivers, lov'dTo blend his murmurs with my Nurse's song,And from his alder shades and rocky falls,And from his fords and shallows, sent a voiceThat flow'd along my dreams? For this, didst Thou,O Derwent! travelling over the green PlainsNear my 'sweet Birthplace', didst thou, beauteous StreamMake ceaseless music through the night and dayWhich with its steady cadence, temperingOur human waywardness, compos'd my thoughtsTo more than infant softness, giving me,Among the fretful dwellings of mankind,A knowledge, a dim earnest, of the calmThat Nature breathes among the hills and groves
My low deserts consist not with applauseSo kindly -- when I fain would deem it so,My sad heart, musing on its proper flaws,Thy gentle commendation must forego;As toys, which, glued together, hold awhile,But, haply brought too near some searching fire,Start from their frail compacture, and beguileThe child, that pieced them, of his fond desire:I was a very child for that brief tide,Whenas I join'd and solder'd thy good wordWith my poor merits -- 'twas a moment's pride --The flames of conscience sunder'd their accord:My heart dropt off in sorrow from thy praise,Self-knowledge baulk'd self-love so many ways
The humming bee purrs softly o'er his flower, From lawn and thicketThe dogday locust singeth in the sun, From hour to hour;Each has his bard, and thou, ere day be done Shalt have no wrong;So bright that murmur mid the insect crowdMuffled and lost in bottom grass, or loud By pale and picket:Shall I not take to help me in my song A little cooing cricket?
The afternoon is sleepy!, let us lieBeneath these branches, whilst the burdened brookMuttering and moaning to himself goes by,And mark our minstrel's carol, whilst we lookToward the faint horizon, swooning-blue
[Preface] Whom we, that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace,Believing where we cannot prove;
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;Where knowledge is free;Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;Where words come out from the depth of truth;Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action --Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake