William Wordsworth was born on April 7th, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. Young William's parents, John and Ann, died during his boyhood. Raised amid the mountains of Cumberland alongside the River Derwent, Wordsworth grew up in a rustic society, and spent a great deal of his time playing outdoors, in what he would later remember as a pure communion with nature. In the early 1790s William lived for a time in France, then in the grip of the violent Revolution; Wordsworth's philosophical sympathies lay with the revolutionaries, but his loyalties lay with England, whose monarchy he was not prepared to see overthrown. While in France, Wordsworth had a long affair with Annette Vallon, with whom he had a daughter, Caroline. A later journey to France to meet Caroline, now a young girl, would inspire the great sonnet “It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.”The chaos and bloodshed of the Reign of Terror in Paris drove William to philosophy books; he was deeply troubled by the rationalism he found in the works of thinkers such as William Godwin, which clashed with his own softer, more emotional understanding of the world. In despair, he gave up his pursuit of moral questions. In the mid-1790s, however, Wordsworth's increasing sense of anguish forced him to formulate his own understanding of the world and of the human mind in more concrete terms. The theory he produced, and the poetics he invented to embody it, caused a revolution in English literature.
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Page 147 - Save the wild wind and the remorseless dash Of billows; but at intervals there gush'd, Accompanied with a convulsive splash, A solitary shriek, the bubbling cry Of some strong swimmer in his agony.
Page 113 - My days of love are over; me no more The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow, Can make the fool of which they made before, In short, I must not lead the life I did do; The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er, The copious use of claret is forbid too, So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, I think I must take up with avarice.
Page 5 - I want a hero: an uncommon want, When every year and month sends forth a new one. Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant, The age discovers he is not the true one...
Page 214 - A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth, and love, And beauty, all concentrating like rays Into one focus, kindled from above ; Such kisses as belong to early days, Where heart and soul, and sense, in concert move...
Page 66 - Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home ; Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark Our coming, and look brighter when we come...
Page 40 - Yet Julia's very coldness still was kind, And tremulously gentle her small hand Withdrew itself from his, but left behind A little pressure, thrilling, and so bland And slight, so very slight, that to the mind 'Twas but a doubt ; but ne'er magician's wand Wrought change with all Armida's fairy art Like what this light touch left on Juan's heart.
Page 130 - And oh ! if e'er I should forget, I swear — But that's impossible, and cannot be — Sooner shall this blue ocean melt to air, Sooner shall earth resolve itself to sea, Than I resign thine image, oh, my fair! Or think of anything, excepting thee ; A mind diseased no remedy can physic...