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Live Stream: Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworth

Written by Rachael Norris, 30th June 2020

from Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworthh

from Resolution and Independenceby William WordsworthMy former thoughts returned: the fear that kills; And hope that is unwilling to be fed; Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills; And mighty Poets in their misery dead. —Perplexed, and longing to be comforted, My question eagerly did I renew, “How is it that you live, and what is it you do?” He with a smile did then his words repeat; And said that, gathering leeches, far and wide He travelled; stirring thus about his feet The waters of the pools where they abide. “Once I could meet with them on every side; But they have dwindled long by slow decay; Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may.” While he was talking thus, the lonely place, The old Man’s shape, and speech—all troubled me: In my mind’s eye I seemed to see him pace About the weary moors continually, Wandering about alone and silently. While I these thoughts within myself pursued, He, having made a pause, the same discourse renewed. And soon with this he other matter blended, Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind, But stately in the main; and, when he ended, I could have laughed myself to scorn to find In that decrepit Man so firm a mind. “God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure; I’ll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!”

Posted by The Reader on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

from Resolution and Independence

My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed;
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills;
And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
—Perplexed, and longing to be comforted,
My question eagerly did I renew,
“How is it that you live, and what is it you do?”

He with a smile did then his words repeat;
And said that, gathering leeches, far and wide
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet
The waters of the pools where they abide.
“Once I could meet with them on every side;
But they have dwindled long by slow decay;
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may.”

While he was talking thus, the lonely place,
The old Man’s shape, and speech—all troubled me:
In my mind’s eye I seemed to see him pace
About the weary moors continually,
Wandering about alone and silently.
While I these thoughts within myself pursued,
He, having made a pause, the same discourse renewed.

And soon with this he other matter blended,
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main; and, when he ended,
I could have laughed myself to scorn to find
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
“God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure;
I’ll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!”

by William Wordsworth

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