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- THERE was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
- And islands of Winander!--many a time,
- At evening, when the earliest stars began
- To move along the edges of the hills,
- Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
- Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
- And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
- Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth
- Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
- Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
- That they might answer him.--And they would shout
- Across the watery vale, and shout again,
- Responsive to his call,--with quivering peals,
- And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
- Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
- Of jocund din! And, when there came a pause
- Of silence such as baffled his best skill:
- Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
- Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise
- Has carried far into his heart the voice
- Of mountain-torrents; or the visible scene
- Would enter unawares into his mind
- With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
- Its woods, and that uncertain heaven received
- Into the bosom of the steady lake.
- This boy was taken from his mates, and died
- In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
- Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale
- Where he was born and bred: the churchyard hangs
- Upon a slope above the village-school;
- And, through that church-yard when my way has led
- On summer-evenings, I believe, that there
- A long half-hour together I have stood
- Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies!
- William Wordsworth
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