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A Night-Piece
William Wordsworth


The sky is overcast
With a continuous cloud of texture close,
Heavy and wan, all whitened by the Moon,
Which through that veil is indistinctly seen,
A dull, contracted circle, yielding light
So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
Chequering the ground—from rock, plant, tree, or tower.
At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam
Startles the pensive traveller while he treads
His lonesome path, with unobserving eye                        
Bent earthwards; he looks up—the clouds are split
Asunder,—and above his head he sees
The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens.
There, in a black-blue vault she sails along,
Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small
And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss
Drive as she drives: how fast they wheel away,
Yet vanish not!—the wind is in the tree,
But they are silent;—still they roll along
Immeasurably distant; and the vault,                           
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
Still deepens its unfathomable depth.
At length the Vision closes; and the mind,
Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,
Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,
Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

This poem is in the public domain.


William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) was a British Romantic poet. Though he suffered much tragedy in his personal life, he also enjoyed several deeply satisfying friendships, including ones with fellow poet Samuel Coleridge, and with his sister Dorothy, a writer in her own right. Wordsworth traveled extensively and was deeply influenced by his love of nature; both passions are evident in many of his poems. He lived much of his life in England’s beautiful Lake District, and served as Poet Laureate of England from 1843 until his death.


Post New Comment:
Another lovely choice, Jayne! Thank you!
Posted 06/20/2022 12:20 PM
And the moon: "A dull, contracted circle, yielding light /So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls,
Posted 06/20/2022 09:31 AM
He has a way with iambs.
Posted 06/20/2022 09:13 AM
How lovely the interaction between the "seen" world of nature and the "unseen" inner-world of man. Kudos for this post, Jayne.
Posted 06/20/2022 08:39 AM
Larry Schug:
Wordworth (what a moniker, by the way) doesn't much look like a hippie, but he was present in the 1960"s. I think of the Romantics as counter-culture kind of folks.
Posted 06/20/2022 07:34 AM
Gilbert Allen:
A lovely fusion of skyscape and mindscape.
Posted 06/20/2022 07:21 AM

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