The year 1805 is the approximate date of his conversion to a more conservative outlook. The student is likely to find the 1850 version much more accessible for the purpose of reading the whole poem. I am fascinated by the way that this chapter both does and does not presage Darwinian evolution. Name Instructor Grade Date William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book Seven, pp. The poem begins in his boyhood and continues to 1798. London is almost praised at this point, being noted for its ability to impart knowledge to the hungry soul and its examples of the unity of humans. He is uncertain about his future career.
He sees all its denizens scurrying along on futile ways. The Prelude presents a unique and original understanding of min, life, creativity and such other things in its examination and linking of the factors both important and trivial, which go to make up a complex human personality. He visited the House of Commons with much pleasure, also. The poem falls rather naturally into three consecutive sections: Books 1-7 offer a half-literal, half-fanciful description of his boyhood and youthful environment; Book 8 is a kind of reprise. Though reared upon the base of outward things, 650 Structures like these the excited spirit mainly Builds for herself; scenes different there are, Full-formed, that take, with small internal help, Possession of the faculties,--the peace That comes with night; the deep solemnity Of nature's intermediate hours of rest, When the great tide of human life stands still; The business of the day to come, unborn, Of that gone by, locked up, as in the grave; The blended calmness of the heavens and earth, 660 Moonlight and stars, and empty streets, and sounds Unfrequent as in deserts; at late hours Of winter evenings, when unwholesome rains Are falling hard, with people yet astir The feeble salutation from the voice Of some unhappy woman, now and then Heard as we pass, when no one looks about, Nothing is listened to. Wordsworth did not share Burke's political orientation, but, young as he was, he could not help being inspired.
Upon a board Decked with refreshments had this child been placed 'His' little stage in the vast theatre, And there he sate, surrounded with a throng Of chance spectators, chiefly dissolute men 360 And shameless women, treated and caressed; Ate, drank, and with the fruit and glasses played, While oaths and laughter and indecent speech Were rife about him as the songs of birds Contending after showers. Paul's, Westminster, the monument at Fishgate, the Tower, among others. Those simple days Are now my theme; and, foremost of the scenes, Which yet survive in memory, appears One, at whose centre sate a lovely Boy, A sportive infant, who, for six months' space, Not more, had been of age to deal about Articulate prattle--Child as beautiful As ever clung around a mother's neck, 340 Or father fondly gazed upon with pride. I glance but at a few conspicuous marks, Leaving a thousand others, that, in hall, Court, theatre, conventicle, or shop, In public room or private, park or street, Each fondly reared on his own pedestal Looked out for admiration. The last night's genial feeling overflowed Upon this morning, and my favourite grove, Tossing in sunshine its dark boughs aloft, As if to make the strong wind visible, Wakes in me agitations like its own, A spirit friendly to the Poet's task, Which we will now resume with lively hope, Nor checked by aught of tamer argument 50 That lies before us, needful to be told. In it he tells the story of his inner life from the earliest childhood up to 1798.
In general, the city to Wordsworth is too face-paced and unimaginably filled with individuals from all walks of life. The last coincides with his later years of reaction and orthodoxy, when he wrote dull and proper works such as The Excursion and Ecclesiastical Sonnets. The matter that detains us now may seem, To many, neither dignified enough Nor arduous, yet will not be scorned by them, 460 Who, looking inward, have observed the ties That bind the perishable hours of life Each to the other, and the curious props By which the world of memory and thought Exists and is sustained. Back in the heart of town, he sees every nationality and every racial type. By this we mean a poem that has a part of its subject the writing of the poem itself. This, if still, As hitherto, in freedom I may speak, Not violating any just restraint, As may be hoped, of real modesty,-- This did I feel, in London's vast domain.
However, his later-year recollection was that this change occurred some ten years earlier, and he tries in his revisions to push the date back. Meanwhile the roar continues, till at length, Escaped as from an enemy, we turn Abruptly into some sequestered nook, 170 Still as a sheltered place when winds blow loud! Enough;--the mighty concourse I surveyed With no unthinking mind, well pleased to note 220 Among the crowd all specimens of man, Through all the colours which the sun bestows, And every character of form and face: The Swede, the Russian; from the genial south, The Frenchman and the Spaniard; from remote America, the Hunter-Indian; Moors, Malays, Lascars, the Tartar, the Chinese, And Negro Ladies in white muslin gowns. Wordsworth remarks ruefully that it was a shame that a spell could not have been cast upon nature such that the infant might have been kept from growing old, with the inevitable coarseness and unfeeling of age. Pass we from entertainments, that are such Professedly, to others titled higher, Yet, in the estimate of youth at least, More near akin to those than names imply,-- I mean the brawls of lawyers in their courts Before the ermined judge, or that great stage 490 Where senators, tongue-favoured men, perform Admired and envied. My mind did at this spectacle turn round As with the might of waters, and it seemed To me that in this label was a type Or emblem of the utmost that we know Both of ourselves and of the universe, And on the shape of this unmoving man, His fixèd face and sightless eyes, I looked, As if admonished from another world. A turn away from the main thoroughfares takes him from the din.
Below, the open space, through every nook Of the wide area, twinkles, is alive With heads; the midway region and above Is thronged with staring pictures and huge scrolls, Dumb proclamations of the prodigies; And chattering monkeys dangling from their poles, And children whirling in their roundabouts; With those that stretch the neck, and strain the eyes, And crack the voice in rivalship, the crowd Inviting; with buffoons against buffoons Grimacing, writhing, screaming; him who grinds The hurdy-gurdy, at the fiddle weaves, Rattles the salt-box, thumps the kettle-drum, And him who at the trumpet puffs his cheeks, The silver-collared negro with his timbrel, Equestrians, tumblers, women, girls, and boys, Blue-breeched, pink-vested, and with towering plumes. It had been remarked that Wordsworth had the good sense to hold back an introductory piece until he was certain that what it was to introduce had some chance of being realized. He was admired by all as a child whom the vice and folly ever about him could not touch. In fact, The Prelude was so successful in its attempt that there was nothing left to deal with in The Recluse. The poem itself therefore may be considered an attempt to stall for time before going on to what the poet imagined would be far more difficult composition. Enough is said to show How casual incidents of real life, Observed where pastime only had been sought, Outweighed, or put to flight, the set events And measured passions of the stage, albeit By Siddons trod in the fulness of her flowery Yet was the theatre my dear delight; The very gilding, lamps and painted scrolls, And all the mean upholstery of the place, Wanted not animation, when the tide 410 Of pleasure ebbed but to return as fast With the ever-shifting figures of the scene, Solemn or gay: whether some beauteous dame Advanced in radiance through a deep recess Of thick entangled forest, like the moon Opening the clouds; or sovereign king, announced With flourishing trumpet, came in full-blown state Of the world's greatness, winding round with train Of courtiers, banners, and a length of guards; Or captive led in abject weeds, and jingling 420 His slender manacles; or romping girl Bounced, leapt, and pawed the air; or mumbling sire, A scare-crow pattern of old age dressed up In all the tatters of infirmity All loosely put together, hobbled in, Stumping upon a cane with which he smites, From time to time, the solid boards, and makes them Prate somewhat loudly of the whereabouts Of one so overloaded with his years. Book 7, 593-623 What say you then To times when half the city shall break out Full of one passion — vengeance, rage, or fear — To executions, to a street on fire, Mobs, riots, or rejoicings? Before me flow, 150 Thou endless stream of men and moving things! The poet tells us that he attended the trial courts in order to enjoy the forensic.
These words to thee Must needs bring back the moment when we first, Ere the broad world rang with the maiden's name, Beheld her serving at the cottage inn; Both stricken, as she entered or withdrew, With admiration of her modest mien And carriage, marked by unexampled grace. Add to these exhibitions, mute and still, 260 Others of wider scope, where living men, Music, and shifting pantomimic scenes, Diversified the allurement. The poet remembers a child who was beautiful and seraphic. But with its universal freight the tide Hath rolled along, and this bright innocent, Mary! It would do great good, and might form a Part of 'The Recluse'. The poem was unknown to the general public until the final version was published three months after Wordsworth's death in 1850.
A comparison of it with the 1850 and final version shows the vast change the work underwent. But the boy's account was not nearly as rich as the poet's imaginary picture. The assurance which then cheered some heavy thoughts On thy departure to a foreign land Has failed; too slowly moves the promised work. For though I was most passionately moved And yielded to all changes of the scene With an obsequious promptness, yet the storm Passed not beyond the suburbs of the mind; Save when realities of act and mien The incarnation of the spirits that move In harmony amid the Poet's world Rose to ideal grandeur, or, called forth 480 By power of contrast, made me recognise, As at a glance, the things which I had shaped, And yet not shaped, had seen and scarcely seen When, having closed the mighty Shakespear's page, I mused, and thought, and felt, in solitude. Thus the pride of strength And the vainglory of superior skill Were interfused with objects which subdued And tempered them, and gradually produced A quiet independence of heart. He mentions the thrill he had in attending the House of Lords when one of England's famed noblemen stood up to address the assembly. Her tranquility of spirit had always amazed them.
Its focus and mood present a sharp and fundamental fall away from the neoclassical and into the Romantic. But foolishness and madness in parade, Though most at home in this their dear domain, Are scattered everywhere, no rarities, Even to the rudest novice of the Schools. As the black storm upon the mountain top Sets off the sunbeam in the valley, so 620 That huge fermenting mass of human-kind Serves as a solemn back-ground, or relief, To single forms and objects, whence they draw, For feeling and contemplative regard, More than inherent liveliness and power. Happy are they both-- Mother and child! Between watching the members of the audience and the spectacle on the stage, his mind was kept constantly alert. Wordsworth worked his way towards modern psychological understanding of his own nature and more broadly of human nature. It is interesting to note that while The Prelude is a poem rooted in the past, a culmination of many traditions of thought and culture, it is at the same time that the first great modern poem. From this memorial tribute to my theme I was returning, when, with sundry forms Commingled--shapes which met me in the way That we must tread--thy image rose again, Maiden of Buttermere! However, Dante starts his journey at the age of 35, and, through a lengthy rite of passage, involving both moral and intellectual purification, arrives at a state of illumination that he is not really able to describe.
While on the subject of oratory, Wordsworth cannot neglect the pulpit. The Prelude affords one of the best approaches to Wordsworth's poetry in general and to the philosophy of nature it contains. He found that incidental events of everyday life could be more fascinating and moving than the stage, even though Mrs. Many passages can tolerate two or more readings and afford new meaning at each reading. On his desert sands What grandeur not unfelt, what pregnant show Of beauty, meets the sun-burnt Arab's eye: And, as the sea propels, from zone to zone 750 Its currents, magnifies its shoals of life Beyond all compass spread, and sends aloft Armies of clouds,--even so, its powers and aspects Shape for mankind, by principles as fixed, The views and aspirations of the soul To majesty. Charms and spells 370 Muttered on black and spiteful instigation Have stopped, as some believe, the kindliest growths. The Boy had been The pride and pleasure of all lookers-on In whatsoever place, but seemed in this A sort of alien scattered from the clouds.