"Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant"

By William Wordsworth 1770–1850 William Wordsworth
Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant—
Bound to thy service with unceasing care,
The mind’s least generous wish a mendicant
For nought but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak— though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
Than a forsaken bird’s-nest filled with snow
‘Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—
Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet William Wordsworth 1770–1850

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

 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. . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by William Wordsworth

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.