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ON WORDSWORTH'S COTTAGE; NEAR GRASMERE LAKE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not for the glory on their heads
Last Line: Thy temple, is thy name alone.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

NOT for the glory on their heads
Those stately hill-tops wear,
Although the summer sunset sheds
Its constant crimson there.
Not for the gleaming lights that break
The purple of the twilight lake,
Half dusky and half fair,
Does that sweet valley seem to be
A sacred place on earth to me.

The influence of a moral spell
Is found around the scene,
Giving new shadows to the dell,
New verdure to the green.
With every mountain-top is wrought
The presence of associate thought,
A music that has been;
Calling loveliness to life,
With which the inward world is rife.

His home -- our English poet's home --
Amid these hills is made;
Here, with the morning hath he come,
There, with the night delayed.
On all things is his memory cast,
For every place wherein he past,
Is with his mind arrayed,
That, wandering in a summer hour,
Asked wisdom of the leaf and flower.

Great poet, if I dare to throw
My homage at thy feet,
'Tis thankfulness for hours which thou
Hast made serene and sweet;
As wayfarers have incense thrown
Upon some mighty altar-stone
Unworthy, and yet meet,
The human spirit longs to prove
The truth of its uplooking love.

Until thy hand unlocked its store,
What glorious music slept!
Music that can be hushed no more
Was from our knowledge kept.
But the great Mother gave to thee
The poet's universal key,
And forth the fountains swept --
A gushing melody for ever,
The witness of thy high endeavour.

Rough is the road which we are sent,
Rough with long toil and pain;
And when upon the steep ascent,
A little way we gain,
Vexed with our own perpetual care,
Little we heed what sweet things are
Around our pathway blent;
With anxious steps we hurry on,
The very sense of pleasure gone.

But thou dost in this feverish dream
Awake a better mood,
With voices from the mountain stream,
With voices from the wood.
And with their music dost impart
Their freshness to the world-worn heart,
Whose fever is subdued
By memories sweet with other years,
By gentle hopes, and soothing tears.

A solemn creed is thine, and high,
Yet simple as a child,
Who looketh hopeful to yon sky
With eyes yet undefiled
By all the glitter and the glare
This life's deceits and follies wear,
Exalted, and yet mild,
Conscious of those diviner powers
Brought from a better world than ours.

Thou hast not chosen to rehearse
The old heroic themes;
Thou hast not given to thy verse
The heart's impassioned dreams.
Forth flows thy song as waters flow,
So bright above -- so calm below,
Wherein the heaven seems
Eternal as the golden shade
Its sunshine on the stream hath laid.

The glory which thy spirit hath
Is round life's common things,
And flingeth round our common path,
As from an angel's wings,
A light that is not of our sphere,
Yet lovelier for being here,
Beneath whose presence springs
A beauty never mark'd before,
Yet once known, vanishing no more.

How often with the present sad,
And weary with the past,
A sunny respite have we had,
By but a chance look cast
Upon some word of thine that made
The sullenness forsake the shade,
Till shade itself was past:
For Hope divine, serene and strong,
Perpetual lives within thy song.

Eternal as the hills thy name,
Eternal as they strain;
So long as ministers of Fame
Shall Love and Hope remain.
The crowded city in its streets,
The valley, in its green retreats,
Alike thy words retain.
What need hast thou of sculptured stone? --
Thy temple, is thy name alone.

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