William Wordsworth

Here you will find the Long Poem Resolution and Independence of poet William Wordsworth

Resolution and Independence


There was a roaring in the wind all night; 
The rain came heavily and fell in floods; 
But now the sun is rising calm and bright; 
The birds are singing in the distant woods; 
Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods; 
The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters; 
And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.


All things that love the sun are out of doors; 
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth; 
The grass is bright with rain-drops;--on the moors 
The hare is running races in her mirth; 
And with her feet she from the plashy earth 
Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, 
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.


I was a Traveller then upon the moor, 
I saw the hare that raced about with joy; 
I heard the woods and distant waters roar; 
Or heard them not, as happy as a boy: 
The pleasant season did my heart employ: 
My old remembrances went from me wholly; 
And all the ways of men, so vain and melancholy.


But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might 
Of joy in minds that can no further go, 
As high as we have mounted in delight 
In our dejection do we sink as low; 
To me that morning did it happen so; 
And fears and fancies thick upon me came; 
Dim sadness--and blind thoughts, I knew not, nor could name. 

I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky; 
And I bethought me of the playful hare: 
Even such a happy Child of earth am I; 
Even as these blissful creatures do I fare; 
Far from the world I walk, and from all care; 
But there may come another day to me-- 
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.


My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought, 
As if life's business were a summer mood; 
As if all needful things would come unsought 
To genial faith, still rich in genial good; 
But how can He expect that others should 
Build for him, sow for him, and at his call 
Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all?


I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy, 
The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride; 
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy 
Following his plough, along the mountain-side: 
By our own spirits are we deified: 
We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; 
But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.


Now, whether it were by peculiar grace, 
A leading from above, a something given, 
Yet it befell, that, in this lonely place, 
When I with these untoward thoughts had striven, 
Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven 
I saw a Man before me unawares: 
The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey hairs.


As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie 
Couched on the bald top of an eminence; 
Wonder to all who do the same espy, 
By what means it could thither come, and whence; 
So that it seems a thing endued with sense: 
Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf 
Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself;


Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor dead, 
Nor all asleep--in his extreme old age: 
His body was bent double, feet and head 
Coming together in life's pilgrimage; 
As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage 
Of sickness felt by him in times long past, 
A more than human weight upon his frame had cast.


Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale face, 
Upon a long grey staff of shaven wood: 
And, still as I drew near with gentle pace, 
Upon the margin of that moorish flood 
Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood, 
That heareth not the loud winds when they call 
And moveth all together, if it move at all.


At length, himself unsettling, he the pond 
Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look 
Upon the muddy water, which he conned, 
As if he had been reading in a book: 
And now a stranger's privilege I took; 
And, drawing to his side, to him did say, 
"This morning gives us promise of a glorious day."


A gentle answer did the old Man make, 
In courteous speech which forth he slowly drew: 
And him with further words I thus bespake, 
"What occupation do you there pursue? 
This is a lonesome place for one like you." 
Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise 
Broke from the sable orbs of his yet-vivid eyes,


His words came feebly, from a feeble chest, 
But each in solemn order followed each, 
With something of a lofty utterance drest-- 
Choice word and measured phrase, above the reach 
Of ordinary men; a stately speech; 
Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use, 
Religious men, who give to God and man their dues.


He told, that to these waters he had come 
To gather leeches, being old and poor: 
Employment hazardous and wearisome! 
And he had many hardships t