William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

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 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!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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  • Rookie Raghu Sundaram (2/22/2006 7:19:00 PM)

    UPON WEST MINSTER BRIDGE

    The sonnet “Upon Westminster Bridge” composed by Williams Wordsworth is just one of the gems of his creations. His description about the beauty of nature is wonderful. The starting line itself gives ample evidence for his mastery over the language. “Earth has not anything to show more fair.” This line expresses his views deeply about the nature. He would have enjoyed the nature many times before. But at the time when he was there, he was at his peak of joy. He indirectly says that silent is one of the essential acts for the human to be handsome as the nature. He was very much worried about the pollution of air, which shows his deep concern towards the human rights by the line “All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.” In general, the rivers are described as famine gender. But here, he prefers to mention the river as a male. Generally apart from human, all the male animals are more handsome when compared with the female ones. The lion, the peacock are very attractive. This means he feels that particular river is more aggressive and heavier than other rivers. We can understand and enjoy the above feelings from the line of this sonnet “The River glideth at his own sweet will.” Apart from enjoying the nature, we can understand the real depth of his responsibility towards building a society with social consciousness and awareness. He was deeply disturbed by the ways and acts of people. In this line, “Dear God! The very houses seem asleep”, he weeps for the betterment of the society. He was so much dejected with the attitude of the people. But at the same time, he had faith as well as confidence with the society. That is the reason; he has used the ward “Seem”. This shows that he was certain in his view that one day or the other day, the society would surely wake up, with social consciousness. (Report) Reply

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