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WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
English poet
(1770 - 1850)
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Great God! I'd rather be
  A Pagan, suckled in a creed outworn;
    So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
      Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
        Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea,
          Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
      - Miscellaneous Sonnets
         (pt. I, sonnet XXXIII) [Choice]

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
  Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours.
      - Miscellaneous Sonnets (pt. I, XXXIII)
        [World]

And when a damp
  Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
    The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
      Soul-animating strains--alas! too few.
      - Miscellaneous Sonnets, Pt. II, Scorn Not the Sonnet; Critic, You Have Frowned
        [Blindness : Poets]

Methought I say the footsteps of a throne.
      - Miscellaneous Sonnets--Methought I Saw the Footsteps of a Throne
        [Footsteps]

The child is father of the man.
      - My Heart Leaps Up [Childhood : Proverbs]

Soft is the music that would charm forever:
  The flower of sweetest smell is shy and lowly.
      - Not Love, Not War [Music]

One of those heavenly days that cannot die.
      - Nutting [Day]

The violets of five seasons reappear
  And fade, unseen by any human eye.
      - Nutting [Violets]

I heard a Stock-dove sing or say
  His homely tale, this very day;
    His voice was buried among trees,
      Yet to be come at by the breeze:
        He did not cease; but cooed--and cooed:
          And somewhat pensively he wooed:
            He sang of love, with quiet blending,
              Slow to begin, and never ending;
                Of serious faith, and inward glee;
                  That was the song,--the song for me!
      - O Nightingale! Thou Surely Art [Doves]

O joy! that in our embers
  Is something that doth live.
      - Ode (IV, 53), (Knight's edition) [Fire]

Give unto me, made lowly wise,
  The spirit of self-sacrifice;
    The confidence of reason give;
      And in the light of truth thy
        Bondman let me live!
      - Ode to Duty [Duty]

Stern Daughter of the Voice of God.
      - Ode to Duty [Duty]

Who art a light to guide, a rod
  To check the erring, and reprove.
      - Ode to Duty [Duty]

Sad fancies do we then affect,
  In luxury of disrespect
    To our own prodigal excess
      Of too familiar happiness.
      - Ode to Lycoris [Fancy]

We bow our heads before Thee, and we laud
  And magnify Thy name, Almighty God!
    But Man is Thy most awful instrument,
      In working out a pure intent.
      - Ode--Imagination ne'er before Content
        [Praise]

In years that bring the philosophic mind.
      - Ode--Intimations of Immortality (st. 10)
        [Mind]

Though nothing can bring back the hour
  Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower.
      - Ode--Intimations of Immortality (st. 10)
        [Past]

The clouds that gather round the setting sun
  Do take a sober coloring from an eye
    That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality.
      - Ode--Intimations of Immortality (st. 11)
        [Clouds]

Though inland far we be,
  Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
    Which brought us hither.
      - Ode--Intimations of Immortality (st. 9)
        [Immortality]

Truths that wake
  To perish never.
      - Ode--Intimations of Immortality (st. 9)
        [Truth]

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
  The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
      And cometh from afar;
        Not in entire forgetfulness,
          And not in utter nakedness,
            But trailing clouds of glory, do we come
              From God, who is our home.
                Heaven lies about us in our infancy.
                  Shades of the prison-house begin to close
                    Upon the growing Boy,
                      But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
                        He sees it in his joy;
                          The Youth, who daily farther from the east
                            Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
                              And by the vision splendid
                                Is on his way attended;
                                  At length the man perceives it die away,
                                    And fade into the light of common day.
      - Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
         (V) [Birth]

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns.
      - On Revisiting the Banks of Wye [Sun]

Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
  Of that which once was great is passed away.
      - On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic
        [Grief]

Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.
      - On the Power of Sound (st. 12) [Winter]

Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
  Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares,--
    The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs
      Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays!
      - Personal Talk [Poets]


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