John Clare “A Winter’s Spring” Read by Natalie Beyer

Source: UMW


The winter comes; I walk alone,

I want no bird to sing;

To those who keep their hearts their own

The winter is the spring.

No flowers to please—no bees to hum—

The coming spring’s already come.


I never want the Christmas rose

To come before its time;

The seasons, each as God bestows,

Are simple and sublime.

I love to see the snowstorm hing;

‘Tis but the winter garb of spring.


I never want the grass to bloom:

The snowstorm’s best in white.

I love to see the tempest come

And love its piercing light.

The dazzled eyes that love to cling

O’er snow-white meadows sees the spring.


I love the snow, the crumpling snow

That hangs on everything,

It covers everything below

Like white dove’s brooding wing,

A landscape to the aching sight,

A vast expanse of dazzling light.


It is the foliage of the woods

That winters bring—the dress,

White Easter of the year in bud,

That makes the winter Spring.

The frost and snow his posies bring,

Nature’s white spurts of the spring.

Chudleigh, “The Wish” read by Lauren Gustafson


Would but indulgent Fortune send

To me a kind, and faithful Friend,

One who to Virtue’s Laws is true,

And does her nicest Rules pursue;

One Pious, Lib’ral, Just and Brave,

And to his Passions not a Slave;

Who full of Honour, void of Pride,

Will freely praise, and freely chide;

But not indulge the smallest Fault,

Nor entertain one slighting Thought:

Who still the same will ever prove,

Will still instruct and still will love:

In whom I safely may confide,

And with him all my Cares divide:

Who has a large capacious Mind,

Join’d with a Knowledge unconfin’d:

A Reason bright, a Judgement true,

A Wit both quick, and solid too:

Who can of all things talk with Ease,

And whose Converse will ever please:

Who charm’d with Wit, and inward Graces,

Despises Fools with tempting Faces;

And still a beauteous Mind does prize

Above the most enchanting Eyes:

I would not envy Queens their State,

Nor once desire a happier Fate.



Chudleigh, “The Resolve” Read by Kelly Morrison

Source: UMW.

Cockburn, “Verses sent to Mr. Bevil Higgons, On his sickness and recovery from the Small-pox, in the Year 1693” read by Bryan Mytelka

Churchill, “Lines Written in Windsor Park,” read by Zoe Peters

Source: UMW. Churchill, “Lines Written in Windsor Park,” read by Zoe Peters

Lines Written in Windsor Park
By Charles Churchill

When Pope to Satire gave its lawful way,
And made the Nimrods of Mankind his prey;
When haughty Windsor heard through every wood
Their shame, who durst be great, yet not be good;
Who, drunk with power, and with ambition blind,
Slaves to themselves, and monsters to mankind,
Sinking the man, to magnify the prince,
Were heretofore, what Stuarts have been since:
Could he have look’d into the womb of Time,
How might his spirit in prophetic rhyme,
Inspired by virtue, and for freedom bold,
Matters of different import have foretold!
How might his Muse, if any Muse’s tongue
Could equal such an argument, have sung
One William, who makes all mankind his care,
And shines the saviour of his country there!
One William, who to every heart gives law;
The son of George, the image of Nassau!

Chatterton, “The Resignation” read by Christine Zale

Source: UMW. Chatterton The Resignation read by Christine Zale

Coleridge, “Frost at Midnight” read by Christian Karrs

Source: UMW. Download

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
`Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
>From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike!

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shall learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Chatterton, “The Copernican System” read by David Federman

Source: Download

Carey, “Sally in our Alley,” various readers

1) Read by Byron McAllister. Source: UMW. Source: UMW. Text.

2) Read by Tom O’Bedlam. Source:

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Congreve, “False though She be” read by David Starner

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FALSE though she be to me and love,
I’ll ne’er pursue revenge;
For still the charmer I approve,
Though I deplore her change.

In hours of bliss we oft have met:
They could not always last;
And though the present I regret,
I’m grateful for the past.