The Green Linnet

By William Wordsworth 1770–1850 William Wordsworth
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.

One 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.

Amid 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.

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Poet William Wordsworth 1770–1850

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Spring, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Animals

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 William  Wordsworth

Biography

Discussing prose written by poets, Joseph Brodsky has remarked, “the tradition of dividing literature into poetry and prose dates from the beginnings of prose, since it was only in prose that such a distinction could be made.” This insight is worth bearing in mind when considering the various prose works of the poet William Wordsworth. For Wordsworth poetic composition was a primary mode of expression; prose was secondary. . . .

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Poems by William Wordsworth

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Spring, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature, Trees & Flowers, Animals

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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