William Wordsworth’s great long autobiographical poem in blank verse, The Prelude, has many great passages, and this is one of the best, from the first book of the poem, describing the poet’s schooldays and his time among nature. The description of the hill looming up as a young Wordsworth rows his boat – finding freedom on the open water – comes close to that key Romantic concept of the Sublime. If this excerpt whets your appetite for the whole poem, you can read that here.
One evening (surely I was led by her)
I went alone into a Shepherd’s Boat,
A Skiff that to a Willow tree was tied
Within a rocky Cave, its usual home.
‘Twas by the shores of Patterdale, a Vale
Wherein I was a Stranger, thither come
A School-boy Traveller, at the Holidays.