Saturday, 20 December 2008

Wordsworth's world is too much with us

William Wordsworth and sister Dorothy set off from Sedbergh, a small town situated amid the bleak and treeless hills that are the Howgills, on the 19th December. The weather was not the best. After less than 10 miles they halted in Kendal, a large market town on the eastern side of the Lake District; and there they stayed overnight. The next day the wintry weather continued as they journeyed on to their new home, the now famous Dove Cottage in the heart of the English Lake District. Ignoring winter colds and sneezes and the inclement weather the devoted sister soon turned the damp empty house into a warm and cheery home for her bardic brother and his guests.

The World Is Too Much With Us

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;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bears her bosom to the moon;
The Winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are gathered-up now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.- 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* coming from the sea;
Or hear old Triton* blow his wreathe`d horn.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
*Proteus: Greek sea god, portrayed as an old man with prophetic powers. Had the ability to change his form to avoid communicating his knowledge.
*Triton: Greek sea god, portrayed as half man and half dolphin. By blowing his horn, a large shell, he could control the waves.


  1. I'm a great fan of Wordsworth. Ezra Pound said, I think )it's a long time since I read it) "read as much Wordsworth as you can stand", or words to that effect. I can stand loads.

  2. Me too, Dominic. There's lots of Wm W on here. Entering 'William Wordsworth' in the searchbox top left brings 7 William Wordsworth postings.
    Cheers, John. Only 10 days to go!


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