Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath

Original Text: 
Morning Post (Sept. 24, 1802).
2Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unharmed
3May all its agèd boughs o'er-canopy
4The small round basin, which this jutting stone
5Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring,
6Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,
7Send up cold waters to the traveller
8With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease
10Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page,
11As merry and no taller, dances still,
12Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount.
13Here Twilight is and Coolness: here is moss,
14A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade.
15Thou may'st toil far and find no second tree.
16Drink, Pilgrim, here; Here rest! and if thy heart
17Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
18Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound,
19Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees!


1] Written in 1801 and first published in the Morning Post, September 24, 1802, under the title "Inscription on a jutting stone over a Spring." Back to Line
9] Cone of sand: "The spring with the little tiny cone of loose sand ever rising & sinking at the bottom, but its surface without a wrinkle. W[illiam] W[ordsworth]. M[ary] H[utchison]. D[orothy] W[ordsworth]. S[ara] H[utchinson]." Notebooks, I, 980, and see note. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Kathleen Coburn; R. S. Woof
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.465.