The Asses of Alfoxden

by HELEN BEVINGTON

In the woods of Alfoxden I used to take great delight in
noticing the habits, tricks, and physiognomy of asses.”
- WORDSWORTH: Note to “Peter Bell”

FAIREST in the woodland passes
Were to him the little asses
Of Alfoxden, silvan creatures
Virtuous with donkey features,
Frolicking with probably
The same old physiognomy,
The comic ears aslant the head,
Which for the poet pivoted.
Braying in common with their kind
The burble of a windy mind,
His inspiration and delight.
Nobody ever set him right.
A poet should not wander far
Where these Alfoxden asses are.