Bob's Byway


1770 - 1850


 * This poem provides an example of a rhyme scheme.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
 * The rhyme scheme used in each stanza of this poem is ababcc.
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
To Rhyme Scheme in the Glossary
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They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

 * This poem provides an example of a monody, written in quatrains with an abab rhyme scheme.

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
  Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
  And very few to love:

 * This is one of a group of five Wordsworth poems, written without titles or notes, on the subject of an unknown and perhaps imaginary Lucy.
A violet by a mossy stone
  Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
  Is shining in the sky.

To Monody in the Glossary
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To Quatrain in the Glossary
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To Rhyme Scheme in the Glossary
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She lived unknown, and few could know
  When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
  The difference to me!


 * This poem provides an example of an irregular ode.

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Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
         And cometh from afar;
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
    And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
         From God, who is our home.
Heaven lies about us in our infancy;
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
         Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
         He sees it in his joy;
The youth, who daily farther from the east
    Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
         And by the vision splendid
         Is on his way attended;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother's mind,
         And no unworthy aim,
    The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster child, her inmate man,
    Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the child among his newborn blisses,
    A six years' darling of a pigmy size!
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;
    A wedding or a festival,
    A mourning or a funeral;
         And this hath now his heart,
    And unto this he frames his song;
         Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
         But it will not be long
         Ere this be thrown aside,
         And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his "humorous stage"
With all the persons, down to palsied age,
That life brings with her in her equipage;
         As if his whole vocation
         Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
         Thy soul's immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,--
         Mighty prophet! Seer blest!
         On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy immortality
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
To Ode in the Glossary
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Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

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