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Treasury of Sacred Song
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CCLVIII

THE PRIMROSE OF THE ROCK

W. Wordsworth

A rock there is whose homely front

The passing traveller slights;

Yet there the glow-worms hang their lamps

Like stars, at various heights;

And one coy Primrose to that Rock

The vernal breeze invites.

What hideous warfare hath been waged,

What kingdoms overthrown,

Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft

And mark'd it for my own;

A lasting link in Nature's chain

From highest Heaven let down.

The flowers, still faithful to the stems,

Their fellowship renew;

The stems are faithful to the root,

That worketh out of view;

And to the rock the root adheres

In every fibre true.

Close clings to earth the living rock,

Though threatening still to fall;

The earth is constant to her sphere;

And GOD upholds them all;

So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads

Her annual funeral.

--Here closed the meditative strain;

But air breathed soft that day,

The hoary mountain-heights were cheer'd,

The sunny vale look'd gay;

And to the Primrose of the Rock

I gave this after-lay:--

Sin-blighted though we are, we too,

The reasoning Sons of Men,

From one oblivious winter call'd

Shall rise, and breathe again;

And in eternal summer lose

Our threescore years and ten.

To humbleness of heart descends

This prescience from on high,

The Faith that elevates the just,

Before and when they die;

And makes each soul a separate heaven,

A court for Deity.

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