William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

Lucy Gray, Or Solitude - Poem by William Wordsworth

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
- The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

'To-night will be a stormy night-
You to the town must go;
And take a lantern, Child, to light
Your mother through the snow.'

'That, Father! will I gladly do:
'Tis scarcely afternoon-
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon! '

At this the Father raised his hook,
And snapped a faggot-band;
He plied his work; - and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe:
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time:
She wandered up and down;
And many a hill did Lucy climb:
But never reached the town.

The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.

They wept- and, turning homeward, cried,
'In heaven we all shall meet; '
- When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.

Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they crossed:
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.

They followed from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none!

- Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.

O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.

Form: Ballad


Comments about Lucy Gray, Or Solitude by William Wordsworth

  • (2/23/2018 7:32:00 AM)


    Very much worthy to listen the poem (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Srimayee Ganguly (12/16/2012 6:47:00 AM)


    Heart-rendering story! My mum hates this poem so much. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »



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Read poems about / on: snow, child, father, mother, night, work, moon, song, green, heaven, lost, wind, light, children, rose



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 11, 2014


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