The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume 1

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E. Moxon, Son & Company, 1882 - Poetry - 313 pages
 

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Page 128 - Nor less, I trust, To them I may have owed another gift, Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood, In which the burthen of the mystery, In which the heavy and the weary weight Of all this unintelligible world, Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on, — Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power...
Page 166 - 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 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:...
Page 116 - She was a Phantom of delight When first she gleamed 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 May-time 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...
Page 128 - Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on, — Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul : While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things. If this Be but a vain belief, yet, oh ! how oft, In darkness, and amid the many shapes Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir Unprofitable,...
Page 177 - SOLITARY REAPER BEHOLD her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass ! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass ! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain ; . O listen ! for the Vale profound , Is overflowing with the sound.
Page 129 - The picture of the mind revives again: While here I stand, not only with the sense Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts That in this moment there is life and food For future years. And so I dare to hope...
Page 129 - For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, And their glad animal movements all gone by) To me was all in all. — I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite ; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, or any interest Unborrowed from the eye.
Page 128 - These beauteous forms, Through a long absence, have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, With tranquil restoration...
Page 129 - Nature never did betray The heart that loved her: 'tis her privilege. Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy; for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues. Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold Is...
Page 50 - Jane; In bed she moaning lay, Till God released her of her pain; And then she went away. "So in the church-yard she was laid; And, when the grass was dry, Together round her grave we played, My brother John and I. "And when the ground was white with snow, And I could run and slide, My brother John was forced to go, And he lies by her side.

About the author (1882)

William Wordsworth, 1770 - 1850 Born April 7, 1770 in the "Lake Country" of northern England, the great English poet William Wordsworth, son of a prominent aristocrat, was orphaned at an early age. He attended boarding school in Hawkesmead and, after an undistinguished career at Cambridge, he spent a year in revolutionary France, before returning to England a penniless radical. Wordsworth later received honorary degrees from the University of Durham and Oxford University. He is best known for his work "The Prelude", which was published after his death. For five years, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived very frugally in rural England, where they met Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "Lyrical Ballads", published anonymously in 1798, led off with Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" and ended with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey". Between these two masterworks are at least a dozen other great poems. "Lyrical Ballads" is often said to mark the beginning of the English romantic revolution. A second, augmented edition in 1800 was prefaced by one of the great manifestos in world literature, an essay that called for natural language in poetry, subject matter dealing with ordinary men and women, a return to emotions and imagination, and a conception of poetry as pleasure and prophecy. Together with Robert Southey, these three were known as the "Lake Poets", the elite of English poetry. Before he was 30, Wordsworth had begun the supreme work of his life, The Prelude, an immensely long autobiographical work on "The Growth of the Poet's Mind," a theme unprecedented in poetry. Although first finished in 1805, The Prelude was never published in Wordsworth's lifetime. Between 1797 and 1807, he produced a steady stream of magnificent works, but little of his work over the last four decades of his life matters greatly. "The Excursion", a poem of epic length, was considered by Hazlitt and Keats to be among the wonders of the age. After "Lyrical Ballads", Wordsworth turned to his own life, his spiritual and poetical development, as his major theme. More than anyone else, he dealt with mysterious affinities between nature and humanity. Poems like the "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality" have a mystical power quite independent of any particular creed, and simple lyrics like "The Solitary Reaper" produced amazingly powerful effects with the simplest materials. Wordsworth also revived the sonnet and is one of the greatest masters of that form. Wordsworth is one of the giants of English poetry and criticism, his work ranging from the almost childishly simple to the philosophically profound. Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802 and in 1813, obtained a sinecure as distributor of stamps for Westmoreland. At this stage of his life, Wordsworth's political beliefs had strayed from liberal to staunchly conservative. His last works were published around 1835, a few trickled in as the years went on, but the bulk of his writing had slowed. In 1842 he was awarded a government pension and in 1843 became the Poet Laureate of England, after the post was vacated by his friend Coleridge. Wordsworth wrote over 523 sonnets in the course of his lifetime. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount on April 23, 1850. He is buried in Grasme Curchyard. He was 80 years old.

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