536. Ode. Intimations of Immortality. William Wordsworth. The Oxford Book of English Verse


THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,  

    The earth, and every common sight,  

            To me did seem  

    Apparell’d in celestial light,  

The glory and the freshness of a dream.         5

It is not now as it hath been of yore;—  

        Turn wheresoe’er I may,  

            By night or day,  

The things which I have seen I now can see no more.  


        The rainbow comes and goes,  10

        And lovely is the rose;  

        The moon doth with delight  

    Look round her when the heavens are bare;  

        Waters on a starry night  

        Are beautiful and fair;  15

    The sunshine is a glorious birth;  

    But yet I know, where’er I go,  

That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.  


Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,  

    And while the young lambs bound  20

        As to the tabor’s sound,  

To me alone there came a thought of grief:  

A timely utterance gave that thought relief,  

        And I again am strong:  

The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;  25

No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;  

I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,  

The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,  

        And all the earth is gay;  

            Land and sea  30

    Give themselves up to jollity,  

      And with the heart of May  

    Doth every beast keep holiday;—  

          Thou Child of Joy,  

Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy  35



Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call  

    Ye to each other make; I see  

The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;  

    My heart is at your festival,  40

      My head hath its coronal,  

The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.  

        O evil day! if I were sullen  

        While Earth herself is adorning,  

            This sweet May-morning,  45

        And the children are culling  

            On every side,  

        In a thousand valleys far and wide,  

        Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,  

And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:—  50

        I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!  

        —But there’s a tree, of many, one,  

A single field which I have look’d upon,  

Both of them speak of something that is gone:  

          The pansy at my feet  55

          Doth the same tale repeat:  

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?  

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?  


Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:  

The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,  60

        Hath had elsewhere its setting,  

          And cometh from afar:  

        Not in entire forgetfulness,  

        And not in utter nakedness,  

But trailing clouds of glory do we come  65

        From God, who is our home:  

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!  

Shades of the prison-house begin to close  

        Upon the growing Boy,  

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,  70

        He sees it in his joy;  

The Youth, who daily farther from the east  

    Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,  

      And by the vision splendid  

      Is on his way attended;  75

At length the Man perceives it die away,  

And fade into the light of common day.  


Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;  

Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,  

And, even with something of a mother’s mind,  80

        And no unworthy aim,  

    The homely nurse doth all she can  

To make her foster-child, her Inmate Man,  

    Forget the glories he hath known,  

And that imperial palace whence he came.  85


Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,  

A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!  

See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,  

Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,  

With light upon him from his father’s eyes!  90

See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,  

Some fragment from his dream of human life,  

Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;  

    A wedding or a festival,  

    A mourning or a funeral;  95

        And this hath now his heart,  

    And unto this he frames his song:  

        Then will he fit his tongue  

To dialogues of business, love, or strife;  

        But it will not be long 100

        Ere this be thrown aside,  

        And with new joy and pride  

The little actor cons another part;  

Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’  

With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, 105

That Life brings with her in her equipage;  

        As if his whole vocation  

        Were endless imitation.  


Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie  

        Thy soul’s immensity; 110

Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep  

Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,  

That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,  

Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—  

        Mighty prophet! Seer blest! 115

        On whom those truths do rest,  

Which we are toiling all our lives to find,  

In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;  

Thou, over whom thy Immortality  

Broods like the Day, a master o’er a slave, 120

A presence which is not to be put by;  

          To whom the grave  

Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight  

        Of day or the warm light,  

A place of thought where we in waiting lie; 125

Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might  

Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,  

Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke  

The years to bring the inevitable yoke,  

Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? 130

Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,  

And custom lie upon thee with a weight,  

Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!  


        O joy! that in our embers  

        Is something that doth live, 135

        That nature yet remembers  

        What was so fugitive!  

The thought of our past years in me doth breed  

Perpetual benediction: not indeed  

For that which is most worthy to be blest— 140

Delight and liberty, the simple creed  

Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,  

With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—  

        Not for these I raise  

        The song of thanks and praise; 145

    But for those obstinate questionings  

    Of sense and outward things,  

    Fallings from us, vanishings;  

    Blank misgivings of a Creature  

Moving about in worlds not realized, 150

High instincts before which our mortal Nature  

Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:  

        But for those first affections,  

        Those shadowy recollections,  

      Which, be they what they may, 155

Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,  

Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;  

  Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make  

Our noisy years seem moments in the being  

Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, 160

            To perish never:  

Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,  

            Nor Man nor Boy,  

Nor all that is at enmity with joy,  

Can utterly abolish or destroy! 165

    Hence in a season of calm weather  

        Though inland far we be,  

Our souls have sight of that immortal sea  

        Which brought us hither,  

    Can in a moment travel thither, 170

And see the children sport upon the shore,  

And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.  


Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!  

        And let the young lambs bound  

        As to the tabor’s sound! 175

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 180

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; 185

      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, 190

In years that bring the philosophic mind.  


And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,  

Forebode not any severing of our loves!  

Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;  

I only have relinquish’d one delight 195

To live beneath your more habitual sway.  

I love the brooks which down their channels fret,  

Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;  

The innocent brightness of a new-born Day  

            Is lovely yet; 200

The clouds that gather round the setting sun  

Do take a sober colouring from an eye  

That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;  

Another race hath been, and other palms are won.  

Thanks to the human heart by which we live, 205

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,  

To me the meanest flower that blows can give  

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.  


…is the bright flame that can not last… 

The Blessed Dark… 

…shall come for us all… 

My first #caldwellcigars but definitely not my last! Magnify- #cigars #botl #BOTL #smoking #tobacco

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Brother and sister… #supercat #catphoto #instacat #catitude #kittensofinstagram #ilovemycat #paw #instagramcats #lovekittens #furry #animals #catlove #cute #meow #

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Tonight’s poison of choice. #whisky #malt #islay

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Master of Puppets \m/

Inquisition – Vortex From The Celestial…

It’s Friday after all….