A Character

I marvel how Nature could ever find space

For so many strange contrasts in one human face:

There’s thought and no thought, and there’s paleness and bloom

And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.

There’s weakness, and strength both redundant and vain;

Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain

Could pierce through a temper that’s soft to disease,

Would be rational peace–a philosopher’s ease.

There’s indifference, alike when he fails or succeeds,

And attention full ten times as much as there needs;

Pride where there’s no envy, there’s so much of joy;

And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy.

There’s freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare

Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she’s there,

There’s virtue, the title it surely may claim,

Yet wants heaven knows what to be worthy the name.

This picture from nature may seem to depart,

Yet the Man would at once run away with your heart;

And I for five centuries right gladly would be

Such an odd such a kind happy creature as he.

William Wordsworth

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