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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

THE WILD DUCK'S NEST

I observed this beautiful nest on the largest island of Rydal Water.

THE imperial Consort of the Fairy-king
Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell
With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell
Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing
As this low structure, for the tasks of Spring,
Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding wing.
Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough,
And dimly-gleaming Nest,--a hollow crown
Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
Fine as the mother's softest plumes allow:
I gazed--and, self-accused while gazing, sighed
For human-kind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride!

1819.