William Wordsworth

Strange Fits of Passion

from Lyrical Ballads (Volume II, 1800)

Strange fits of passion I have known,
  And I will dare to tell,
  But in the lover's ear alone,
  What once to me befel.
5   When she I lov'd, was strong and gay
  And like a rose in June,
  I to her cottage bent my way,
  Beneath the evening moon.
  Upon the moon I fix'd my eye,
10   All over the wide lea;
  My horse trudg'd on, and we drew nigh
  Those paths so dear to me.
  And now we reach'd the orchard plot,
  And, as we climb'd the hill,
15   Towards the roof of Lucy's cot
  The moon descended still.
  In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
  Kind Nature's gentlest boon!
  And, all the while, my eyes I kept
20   On the descending moon.
  My horse mov'd on; hoof after hoof
  He rais'd and never stopp'd:
  When down behind the cottage roof
  At once the planet dropp'd.
25   What fond and wayward thoughts will slide
  Into a Lover's head-
  O mercy! to myself I cried,
  If Lucy should be dead!

First published 1800

Robert Clark

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