Poem of the Week: The Tables Turned

By William Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you’ll grow double: 
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks; 
Why all this toil and trouble? 

The sun above the mountain’s head, 
A freshening lustre mellow 
Through all the long green fields has spread, 
His first sweet evening yellow. 

Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife: 
Come, hear the woodland linnet, 
How sweet his music! on my life, 
There’s more of wisdom in it. 

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings! 
He, too, is no mean preacher: 
Come forth into the light of things, 
Let Nature be your teacher. 

She has a world of ready wealth, 
Our minds and hearts to bless— 
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, 
Truth breathed by cheerfulness. 

One impulse from a vernal wood 
May teach you more of man, 
Of moral evil and of good, 
Than all the sages can. 

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; 
Our meddling intellect 
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:— 
We murder to dissect. 

Enough of Science and of Art; 
Close up those barren leaves; 
Come forth, and bring with you a heart 
That watches and receives. 

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.
Kelly Brenner
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