We Are Seven Poem by William Wordsworth

We Are Seven

Rating: 3.5

--------A Simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
--Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven!--I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be."

Then did the little Maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree."

"You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little Maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
"O Master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, "Nay, we are seven!"


I got a book of Wordsworth when I was 13. This was the first poem in the book. I cried. It has remained my absolute favorate ever since. Almost 30 years later it can still make me cry. The innocense, the since of never losing a loved one because they are still there, in heart, soul and mind. This poem never diminishes its power.

10 1 Reply
Reem 4939 08 March 2005

please I want comments on this poem because I didn't understand it well

1 7 Reply
teresa 28 November 2017

please keep reading it. it will come to life.

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M R 08 April 2005

what can I say but what a wonderful poet. I cry when I read this. I can imagine this child telling somebody about her brothers and sister.

4 3 Reply
Nathan Strange 23 November 2006

This is my favourite wordsworth poem, it's so powerful and moving. I showed it to one of my friends who'd lost a loved one and he thought the same as well.

4 2 Reply
Terence Field 26 February 2022

SO far from our time when no such sentiment can be heard. I do not know which I hold closest in my heart, this or 'Michael'. I cannot choose. I love them both.

0 0 Reply
Val A. 24 December 2017

Without doubt, this a genius poem. Language simple, message complex. For me, it provoked reflection on my relationship with my lost family members. This poem offers hope and solace to those who have experienced dark days. Simple, excellent, inspiring, touching, emotional and insightful, this poem has it all.

0 1 Reply
Archana Pinto 20 August 2015

I have read it several times. each time i read it.. i get emotional and the conversation strikes right to my heart

5 0 Reply
Ben Thomason 25 December 2013

Such a beautiful poem, it literally makes me weep.

4 0 Reply
Stevie Taite 13 April 2013

Stevie Taite(4/13/2013 1: 29: 00 PM) This touches the soul with innocent but resilient hands of the child. The man is clearly endeared by the small girl. It paints such a beautiful image. A magically crafted narrative |

5 1 Reply
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

Cumberland / England
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