‘Strange fits of passion have I known’ belongs to a small suite of poems Wordsworth wrote about ‘Lucy’, a girl or young woman (her precise age is difficult to determine); along with ‘A slumber did my spirit seal’ (which does not mention Lucy by name) and ‘She dwelt among the untrodden ways’, ‘Strange fits of passion’ appeared in the 1800 edition of Lyrical Ballads, the volume Wordsworth co-wrote with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Strange fits of passion I have known:
And I will dare to tell,
But in the Lover’s ear alone,
What once to me befel.
When she I loved was strong and gay,
And like a rose in June,
I to her cottage bent my way,
Beneath the evening Moon.
Upon the Moon I fixed my eye,
All over the wide lea:
My Horse trudged on—and we drew nigh
Those paths so dear to me. Read the rest of this entry
‘Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth, or to give it its fuller title, ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’, or to give it its absolutely full title, ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798’, is one of Wordsworth’s finest and most celebrated poetic achievements. So ‘Tintern Abbey’ seems like a good poem to select for our new ‘post a poem a day’ feature, which will see us sharing one of our favourite poems every day.
‘Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky. Read the rest of this entry
‘The stars are mansions built by Nature’s hand’ is not one of the most famous poems by William Wordsworth (1770-1850), nor even one of his more famous sonnets. But it’s a fine poem about the stars, which manages to touch upon the natural world (as we’d expect from a poem by a leading Romantic poet) as well as the divine.
The stars are mansions built by Nature’s hand,
And, haply, there the spirits of the blest
Dwell, clothed in radiance, their immortal vest;
Huge Ocean shows, within his yellow strand,
A habitation marvellously planned,
For life to occupy in love and rest;
All that we see – is dome, or vault, or nest,
Or fortress, reared at Nature’s sage command. Read the rest of this entry