William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
William Wordsworth, the greatest of the Romantic poets, gloried in nature, but here he reflects upon the inspiration of urban London as he experienced it from Westminster Bridge. Wordsworth was born at Cockermouth, Cumberland, the son of an attorney. He was educated at Hawkshead grammar school and at St. John's College, Cambridge. Both his parents died by the time he was thirteen and he was brought up by relatives. He spent some time in France shortly after the French Revolution whose cause he espoused and in 1797 moved to Somerset with his favourite sister, Dorothy, where he developed a close association with Coleridge. Generally considered the greatest of the Romantic poets, Wordsworth's most creative poetry is his early work with its main themes of the English countryside and the revolutionary spirit of the age. Of his later work, The Prelude, published posthumously, is the most significant. He became Poet Laureate in 1843. From http://www.englishverse.com/poets/wordsworth_william.