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William Wordsworth
Complete Poetical Works

"THE MASSY WAYS, CARRIED ACROSS THESE HEIGHTS"

The walk is what we call the "Far-terrace," beyond the summer- house at Rydal Mount. The lines were written when we were afraid of being obliged to quit the place to which we were so much attached.

THE massy Ways, carried across these heights
By Roman perseverance, are destroyed,
Or hidden under ground, like sleeping worms.
How venture then to hope that Time will spare
This humble Walk? Yet on the mountain's side
A POET'S hand first shaped it; and the steps
Of that same Bard--repeated to and fro
At morn, at noon, and under moonlight skies
Through the vicissitudes of many a year--
Forbade the weeds to creep o'er its grey line.
No longer, scattering to the heedless winds
The vocal raptures of fresh poesy,
Shall he frequent these precincts; locked no more
In earnest converse with beloved Friends,
Here will he gather stores of ready bliss,
As from the beds and borders of a garden
Choice flowers are gathered! But, if Power may spring
Out of a farewell yearning--favoured more
Than kindred wishes mated suitably
With vain regrets--the Exile would consign
This Walk, his loved possession, to the care
Of those pure Minds that reverence the Muse.

1826.