William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was a prominent English Romantic poet and one of the pioneers of the Romantic literary movement. He was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, a small town in the northwestern region of England, to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson. His father was a lawyer and later became a steward for the Earl of Lonsdale, while his mother died when he was only eight years old.
Wordsworth was educated at Cambridge University and later traveled to France, where he was influenced by the French Revolution and met other Romantic poets, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He published his first collection of poems, “Lyrical Ballads,” with Coleridge in 1798, which is considered a seminal work in the Romantic literary canon.
Wordsworth’s poetry often focused on nature, childhood, and the human experience, and he is known for his use of simple language and common speech. Some of his most famous works include “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” “Tintern Abbey,” and “The Prelude.”
Wordsworth died on April 23, 1850, at the age of 80, in Rydal Mount, his home in the Lake District of England. He is buried in the graveyard of St. Oswald’s Church in Grasmere, a village in the Lake District that was his home for many years. Today, Wordsworth is regarded as one of the most important poets in English literature and his works continue to be studied and admired by readers and scholars around the world.
The best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.
Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
The child is father of the man.
With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.
The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in nature that is ours.
Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher.
That best portion of a good man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.
A slumber did my spirit seal; I had no human fears: She seemed a thing that could not feel the touch of earthly years.
The poetry of earth is never dead.
The mind that is wise mourns less for what age takes away; than what it leaves behind.
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
The world is too much with us.
My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings; our meddling intellect misshapes the beauteous forms of things: We murder to dissect.
Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.
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.
Come grow old with me. The best is yet to be.
The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more.
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven!
The silence that is in the starry sky, the sleep that is among the lonely hills.
Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower, we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.
Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.
Heaven lies about us in our infancy.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never.
The fairest things have fleetest end, their scent survives their close: But the rose’s scent is bitterness to him that loved the rose.
I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills.
Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge.
Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.
The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.