Inscription for the House (an Out-house) on the Island at Grasmere
Written with a pencil upon a stone in the wall of the
(an Out-house) on the Island at Grasmere.
Rude is this Edifice, and Thou hast seen
Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintain’d
Proportions more harmonious, and approach’d
To somewhat of a closer fellowship
With the ideal grace. Yet as it is
Do take it in good part; for he, the poor
Vitruvius of our village, had no help
From the great City; never on the leaves
Of red Morocco folio saw display’d
The skeletons and pre-existing ghosts
Of Beauties yet unborn, the rustic Box,
Snug Cot, with Coach-house, Shed and Hermitage.
It is a homely Pile, yet to these walls
The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and here
The new-dropp’d lamb finds shelter from the wind.
And hither does one Poet sometimes row
His Pinnace, a small vagrant Barge, up-piled
With plenteous store of heath and wither’d fern,
(A lading which he with his sickle cuts
Among the mountains,) and beneath this roof
He makes his summer couch, and here at noon
Spreads out his limbs, while, yet unshorn, the Sheep
Panting beneath the burthen of their wool
Lie round him, even as if they were a part
Of his own Household: nor, while from his bed
He through that door-place looks toward the lake
And to the stirring breezes, does he want
Creations lovely as the work of sleep,
Fair sights, and visions of romantic joy.