William Wordsworth

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    Biographical information

  1. Another Year! Another Deadly Blow!
  2. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge
  3. From Low to High
  4. I Travelled Among Unknown Men
  5. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  6. Lines Written In Early Spring
  7. London, 1802
  8. Most Sweet It is
  9. Perfect Woman
  10. Resolution And Independence
  11. Surprised by Joy
  12. Written In March




    Biographical information

      Name: William Wordsworth
      Place and date of birth: Cockermouth (England); April 7, 1770
      Place and date of death: Cumberland (England); April 23, 1850 (aged 80)

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      Another Year! Another Deadly Blow!

        Another year! Another deadly blow!
        Another mighty Empire overthrown!
        And We are left, or shall be left, alone;
        The last that dare to struggle with the Foe.
        'Tis well! From this day forward we shall know
        That in ourselves our safety must be sought;
        That by our own right hands it must be wrought;
        That we must stand unpropped, or be laid low.
        O dastard whom such foretaste doth not cheer!
        We shall exult, if they who rule the land
        Be men who hold its many blessings dear,
        Wise, upright, valiant; not a servile band,
        Who are to judge of danger which they fear,
        And honour which they do not understand.

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      Composed Upon Westminster Bridge

        Earth has not anything to show more fair:
        Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
        A sight so touching in its majesty:
        This City now doth like a garment wear
        The beauty of the morning; silent , bare,
        Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
        Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
        All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
        Never did the sun more beautifully steep
        In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
        Ne'er saw I, never felt a calm so deep!
        The river glideth at his own sweet will:
        Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
        And all that mighty heart is lying still!

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      From Low To High

        From low to high doth dissolution climb,
        And sink from high to low, along a scale
        Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
        A musical but melancholy chime,
        Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
        Nor avarice, nor overanxious care.
        Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
        The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
        That in the morning whitened hill and plain
        And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
        Of yesterday, which royally did wear
        His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
        Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
        Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

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      I Travelled Among Unknown Men

        I travelled among unknown men,
        In lands beyond the sea;
        Nor, England! Did I know till then
        What love I bore to thee.

        'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
        Nor will I quit thy shore
        A second time; for still I seem
        To love thee more and more.

        Among thy mountains did I feel
        The joy of my desire;
        And she I cherished turned her wheel
        Beside an English fire.

        Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
        The bowers where Lucy played;
        And thine too is the last green field
        That Lucy's eyes surveyed.

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      I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

        I wandered lonely as a cloud
        That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
        When all at once I saw a crowd,
        A host, of golden daffodils;
        Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
        Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

        Continuous as the stars that shine
        And twinkle on the milky way,
        They stretched in never-ending line
        Along the margin of a bay:
        Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
        Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

        The waves beside them danced, but they
        Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
        A poet could not be but gay,
        In such a jocund company!
        I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
        What wealth the show to me had brought:

        For oft, when on my couch I lie
        In vacant or in pensive mood,
        They flash upon that inward eye
        Which is the bliss of solitude;
        And then my heart with pleasure fills,
        And dances with the daffodils.

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      Lines Written In Early Spring

        I heard a thousand blended notes,
        While in a grove I sate reclined,
        In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
        Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

        To her fair works did Nature link
        The human soul that through me ran;
        And much it grieved my heart to think
        What man has made of man.

        Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
        The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
        And 'tis my faith that every flower
        Enjoys the air it breathes.

        The birds around me hopped and played,
        Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
        But the least motion which they made
        It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

        The budding twigs spread out their fan,
        To catch the breezy air;
        And I must think, do all I can,
        That there was pleasure there.

        If this belief from heaven be sent,
        If such be Nature's holy plan,
        Have I not reason to lament
        What man has made of man?

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      London, 1802

        Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
        England hath need of thee: she is a fen
        Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
        Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
        Have forfeited their ancient English dower
        Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
        Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
        And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
        Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
        Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
        Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
        So didst thou travel on life's common way,
        In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
        The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

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      Most Sweet It Is

        Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
        To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
        While a fair region round the traveller lies
        Which he forbears again to look upon;
        Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
        The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
        Of meditation, slipping in between
        The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
        If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
        Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
        With Thought and Love companions of our way,
        Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,
        The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
        Of inspiration on the humblest lay.

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      Perfect Woman

        She was a phantom of delight
        When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
        A lovely apparition, sent
        To be a moment's ornament;
        Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
        Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
        But all things else about her drawn
        From Maytime and the cheerful dawn;
        A dancing shape, an image gay,
        To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

        I saw her upon nearer view,
        A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
        Her household motions light and free,
        And steps of virgin liberty;
        A countenance in which did meet
        Sweet records, promises as sweet;
        A creature not too bright or good
        For human nature's daily food;
        For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
        Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

        And now I see with eye serene
        The very pulse of the machine;
        A being breathing thoughtful breath,
        A traveller between life and death;
        The reason firm, the temperate will,
        Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
        A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd,
        To warm, to comfort, and command;
        And yet a Spirit still, and bright
        With something of angelic light.

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      Resolution And Independence

        I

        There was a roaring in the wind all night;
        The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
        But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
        The birds are singing in the distant woods;
        Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods;
        The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters;
        And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.

        II

        All things that love the sun are out of doors;
        The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;
        The grass is bright with rain-drops;--on the moors
        The hare is running races in her mirth;
        And with her feet she from the plashy earth
        Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun,
        Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.

        III

        I was a Traveller then upon the moor,
        I saw the hare that raced about with joy;
        I heard the woods and distant waters roar;
        Or heard them not, as happy as a boy:
        The pleasant season did my heart employ:
        My old remembrances went from me wholly;
        And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy.

        IV

        But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might
        Of joy in minds that can no further go,
        As high as we have mounted in delight
        In our dejection do we sink as low;
        To me that morning did it happen so;
        And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
        Dim sadness--and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor could name.

        V

        I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;
        And I bethought me of the playful hare:
        Even such a happy Child of earth am I;
        Even as these blissful creatures do I fare;
        Far from the world I walk, and from all care;
        But there may come another day to me--
        Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.

        VI

        My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,
        As if life's business were a summer mood;
        As if all needful things would come unsought
        To genial faith, still rich in genial good;
        But how can He expect that others should
        Build for him, sow for him, and at his call
        Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all?

        VII

        I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
        The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride;
        Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
        Following his plough, along the mountain-side:
        By our own spirits are we deified:
        We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;
        But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.

        VIII

        Now, whether it were by peculiar grace,
        A leading from above, a something given,
        Yet it befell, that, in this lonely place,
        When I with these untoward thoughts had striven,
        Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven
        I saw a Man before me unawares:
        The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey hairs.

        IX

        As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
        Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
        Wonder to all who do the same espy,
        By what means it could thither come, and whence;
        So that it seems a thing endued with sense:
        Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf
        Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself;

        X

        Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor dead,
        Nor all asleep--in his extreme old age:
        His body was bent double, feet and head
        Coming together in life's pilgrimage;
        As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
        Of sickness felt by him in times long past,
        A more than human weight upon his frame had cast.

        XI

        Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale face,
        Upon a long grey staff of shaven wood:
        And, still as I drew near with gentle pace,
        Upon the margin of that moorish flood
        Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood,
        That heareth not the loud winds when they call
        And moveth all together, if it move at all.

        XII

        At length, himself unsettling, he the pond
        Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look
        Upon the muddy water, which he conned,
        As if he had been reading in a book:
        And now a stranger's privilege I took;
        And, drawing to his side, to him did say,
        "This morning gives us promise of a glorious day."

        XIII

        A gentle answer did the old Man make,
        In courteous speech which forth he slowly drew:
        And him with further words I thus bespake,
        "What occupation do you there pursue?
        This is a lonesome place for one like you."
        Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise
        Broke from the sable orbs of his yet-vivid eyes,

        XIV

        His words came feebly, from a feeble chest,
        But each in solemn order followed each,
        With something of a lofty utterance drest--
        Choice word and measured phrase, above the reach
        Of ordinary men; a stately speech;
        Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use,
        Religious men, who give to God and man their dues.

        XV

        He told, that to these waters he had come
        To gather leeches, being old and poor:
        Employment hazardous and wearisome!
        And he had many hardships to endure:
        From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to moor;
        Housing, with God's good help, by choice or chance,
        And in this way he gained an honest maintenance.

        XVI

        The old Man still stood talking by my side;
        But now his voice to me was like a stream
        Scarce heard; nor word from word could I divide;
        And the whole body of the Man did seem
        Like one whom I had met with in a dream;
        Or like a man from some far region sent,
        To give me human strength, by apt admonishment.

        XVII

        My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills;
        And hope that is unwilling to be fed;
        Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills;
        And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
        --Perplexed, and longing to be comforted,
        My question eagerly did I renew,
        "How is it that you live, and what is it you do?"

        XVIII

        He with a smile did then his words repeat;
        And said, that, gathering leeches, far and wide
        He travelled; stirring thus about his feet
        The waters of the pools where they abide.
        "Once I could meet with them on every side;
        But they have dwindled long by slow decay;
        Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may."

        XIX

        While he was talking thus, the lonely place,
        The old Man's shape, and speech--all troubled me:
        In my mind's eye I seemed to see him pace
        About the weary moors continually,
        Wandering about alone and silently.
        While I these thoughts within myself pursued,
        He, having made a pause, the same discourse renewed.

        XX

        And soon with this he other matter blended,
        Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
        But stately in the main; and when he ended,
        I could have laughed myself to scorn to find
        In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
        "God," said I, "be my help and stay secure;
        I'll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!"

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      Surprised By Joy

        I turned to share the transport Oh! With whom
        But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
        That spot which no vicissitude can find?
        Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind
        But how could I forget thee Through what power,
        Even for the least division of an hour,
        Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
        To my most grievous loss! That thought's return
        Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
        Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
        Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;
        That neither present time, nor years inborn
        Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

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      Written In March

        The cock is crowing,
        The stream is flowing,
        The small birds twitter,
        The lake doth glitter
        The green field sleeps in the sun;
        The oldest and youngest
        Are at work with the strongest;
        The cattle are grazing,
        Their heads never raising;
        There are forty feeding like one!

        Like an army defeated
        The snow hath retreated,
        And now doth fare ill
        On the top of the bare hill;
        The plowboy is whooping—anon-anon:
        There's joy in the mountains;
        There's life in the fountains;
        Small clouds are sailing,
        Blue sky prevailing;
        The rain is over and gone!

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