Written in Germany, On One of The Coldest Days Of The Century

William Wordsworth 1770 (Wordsworth House) – 1850 (Cumberland)



A plague on your languages, German and Norse!
Let me have the song of the kettle;
And the tongs and the poker, instead of that horse
That gallops away with such fury and force
On this dreary dull plate of black metal.

See that Fly,--a disconsolate creature! perhaps
A child of the field or the grove;
And, sorrow for him! the dull treacherous heat
Has seduced the poor fool from his winter retreat,
And he creeps to the edge of my stove.

Alas! how he fumbles about the domains
Which this comfortless oven environ!
He cannot find out in what track he must crawl,
Now back to the tiles, then in search of the wall,
And now on the brink of the iron.

Stock-still there he stands like a traveller bemazed:
The best of his skill he has tried;
His feelers, methinks, I can see him put forth
To the east and the west, to the south and the north;
But he finds neither guide-post nor guide.

His spindles sink under him, foot, leg, and thigh!
His eyesight and hearing are lost;
Between life and death his blood freezes and thaws;
And his two pretty pinions of blue dusky gauze
Are glued to his sides by the frost.

No brother, no mate has he near him--while I
Can draw warmth from the cheek of my Love;
As blest and as glad, in this desolate gloom,
As if green summer grass were the floor of my room,
And woodbines were hanging above.

Yet, God is my witness, thou small helpless Thing!
Thy life I would gladly sustain
Till summer come up from the south, and with crowds
Of thy brethren a march thou should'st sound through the clouds,
And back to the forests again!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 12, 2023

1:29 min read
98

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAAB XCDDC XEFFE DGHHG IJKKJ ILMML XENNE
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,561
Words 296
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

All William Wordsworth poems | William Wordsworth Books

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