William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

William Wordsworth Quotes

  • ''So didst thou travel on life's common way,
    In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
    The lowliest duties on herself did lay.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. London, 1802 (l. 12-14). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''And open field, through which the pathway wound,
    And homeward led my steps. Magnificent
    The morning rose, in memorable pomp,
    Glorious as e'er I had beheld—in front,
    The sea lay laughing at a distance; near,
    The solid mountains shone, bright as the clouds,
    Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light;''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude; IV. Summer Vacation (l. 322-328). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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  • ''And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
    Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. London, 1802 (l. 8-9). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''I made no vows, but vows
    Were then made for me; bond unknown to me
    Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly,
    A dedicated Spirit.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude; IV. Summer Vacation (l. 334-337). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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  • ''Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
    England hath need of thee:''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. London, 1802 (l. 1-2). . . Norton Anthology of Poetry, The. Alexander W. Allison and others, eds. (3d ed., 1983) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''Knowledge and increase of enduring joy
    From the great Nature that exists in works
    Of mighty Poets.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude; V. Books (l. 593-595). . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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  • ''No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
    She dwelt on a wide moor,
    MThe sweetest thing that ever grew
    Beside a human door!''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. Lucy Gray; or, Solitude (l. 5-8). . . The Poems; Vol. 1 [William Wordsworth]. John O. Hayden, ed. (1977, repr. 1990) Penguin Books.
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  • ''With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
    Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received
    Into the bosom of the steady lake.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude; V. Books (l. 463-465). . . English Romantic Poetry and Prose. Russell Noyes, ed. (1956) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''All good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. Lyrical Ballads, preface, 2nd edition (1801). This sentiment, which is a central tenet in Wordsworth's criticism, has parallels in Schiller, Ueber Bürgers Gedichte, as well as Coleridge's Notebooks, in which he speaks of "recalling passion in tranquillity."
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  • ''In verity, an independent world,
    Created out of pure intelligence.''
    William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet. The Prelude; VI. Cambridge and the Alps. . . Oxford Anthology of English Literature, The, Vols. I-II. Frank Kermode and John Hollander, general eds. (1973) Oxford University Press (Also published as six paperback vols.: Medieval English Literature, J. B. Trapp, ed.; The Literature of Renaissance England, John Hollander and Frank Kermode, eds.; The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, Martin Price, ed.; Romantic Poetry and Prose, Harold Bloom and Lionel Trilling, eds.; Victorian Prose and Poetry, Lionel Trilling and Harold Bloom, eds.; Modern British Literature, Frank Kermode and John Hollander, eds.).
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Best Poem of William Wordsworth

A Night-Piece

------The sky is overcast
With a continuous cloud of texture close,
Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,
Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,
A dull, contracted circle, yielding light
So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
Chequering the ground--from rock, plant, tree, or tower.
At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam
Startles the pensive traveller while he treads
His lonesome path, with unobserving eye
Bent earthwards; he looks up--the clouds are split
Asunder,--and above his head he sees
The clear Moon, and the glory of the ...

Read the full of A Night-Piece

A Complaint

There is a change--and I am poor;
Your love hath been, nor long ago,
A fountain at my fond heart's door,
Whose only business was to flow;
And flow it did; not taking heed
Of its own bounty, or my need.

What happy moments did I count!
Blest was I then all bliss above!

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