My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
(William Wordsworth, 1770 – 1850)
Bells for William Wordsworth
by Dom Moraes (1938-2004)
Today they brought me a message. Wordsworth was
‘My God, ‘I said. ‘My God. I can hardly believe it.’
‘Just as you like,’ they answered. ‘Take it or leave it,
He has sunk into April as into the depths of a lake,
Leaving his eyes ajar in the house of his head.’
‘Are you sure,’ I said, ‘ that you haven’t made a mistake?’
‘Oh no, ‘ they said, ‘not a hope. We knew him too well,
A ‘gloomy considering bloke with the nose of a preacher:
A poet in fact, with a charming affection for Nature:
Milkmaids (you know) and the shadows of clouds on the
His work is carefully studied in colleges still.
We shall not forget not forgo it, while colleges stand.’
And I said, ‘I grant you that Wordsworth lies chilly in
And his bones are absolved and dissolved in the tears of
I grant he is one with the plant and the fossil again,’
His flesh has gone back into soil and his eyes into stones
And the roots and shoots of a new life push each year
Through the sad rotten fragments of his bones.
‘But although each spring brings a newer death to those
I have seen him risen again with the crocus in Spring.
I have seen turned my ear to the wind, I have heard him
I shrank from the bony sorrow in his face.
Yet still I hear those pedagogic tones
Droning away the snow, our old disgrace.’
Film by Markus
Filmed on iPhone 4
Music by Alvaro
Waka No 12
from Ogura Hyakunin Isshu read by Kaseumin.
The Monk Henjo
Let the winds of heaven
Blow through the paths among the clouds
And close their gates.
Then for a while I could detain
These messengers in maiden form.