Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

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!

William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was one of the central figures of the English Romantic movement. He believed that poetry should be written in the language of ordinary men and that poetry was “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility.” He was ­England’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in ­1850.

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