The Excursion: Being a Portion of the Recluse, a Poem
Wordsworth's longest poem, and the only part of a projected magnum opus to be published in his lifetime, The Excursion has been neglected in favor of its autobiographical companion, The Prelude. It is however one of the great works of English Romanticism, in which Wordsworth succeeds in his object of conveying clear thoughts, lively images, and strong feelings. Through the semi-dramatic adoption of various selves he narrates the stories of a range of Lake District inhabitants, most famously in the tragic tale of the ruined cottage; airs views on the French and Industrial Revolutions (attacking the factory system and advocating universal state education); and meditates on Man, Nature, and Society. .
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appeared beauty beneath BOOK breath bright ceased Child close cloud Cottage course dark dead Death deep delight desires earth face fair faith fear feel fields flowers forms frame Friend gain give given grace grave green hand happy hath hear heard heart heaven hills hope hour House human kind Land leave less light live lonely look lost mind mortal mountain moved Nature o'er object once pains pass peace pleased pleasure poor praise pure reached reason rest rocks round seat seemed seen sense shade side sight silent Solitary sorrow soul sound speak spirit stand steps stone stood stream suffer tender things thoughts trees truth turn Vale virtue voice walk Wanderer wild wind wish woods youth
Page 180 - Sunbeams, upon distant hills Gliding apace, with shadows in their train, Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly. The Zephyrs fanning, as they passed, their wings, Lacked not, for love, fair objects whom they wooed With gentle whisper. Withered boughs grotesque, Stripped of their leaves and twigs by hoary age, From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth In the low vale, or on steep mountain side; And, sometimes, intermixed with stirring horns Of the live...
Page xii - Not Chaos, not The darkest pit of lowest Erebus, Nor aught of blinder vacancy, scooped out By help of dreams — can breed such fear and awe As fall upon us often when we look Into our Minds, into the Mind of Man — My haunt, and the main region of my song.
Page 48 - So still an image of tranquillity, So calm and still, and looked so beautiful Amid the uneasy thoughts which filled my mind, That what we feel of sorrow and despair From ruin and from change, and all the grief The passing shows of Being leave behind, Appeared an idle dream, that could not live Where meditation was. I turned away, And walked along my road in happiness.
Page 290 - Him who is a righteous Judge, — Why do not these prevail for human life, To keep two hearts together, that began Their springtime with one love, and that have need Of mutual pity and forgiveness sweet To grant, or be received; while that poor bird — O, come and hear him ! Thou who hast to me Been faithless, hear him ; —though a lowly creature. One of God's simple children that yet know not The Universal Parent, how he sings! As if he wished the firmament of heaven Should listen, and give back...
Page xi - Of Truth, of Grandeur, Beauty, Love, and Hope, And melancholy Fear subdued by Faith ; Of blessed consolations in distress ; Of moral strength, and intellectual Power ; Of joy in widest commonalty spread...
Page 67 - So placed, to be shut out from all the world ! Urn-like it was in shape, deep as an urn ; With rocks encompassed, save that to the south Was one small opening, where a heath-clad ridge Supplied a boundary less abrupt and close ; A quiet treeless nook, with two green fields, A liquid pool that glittered in the sun, And one bare dwelling; one abode, no more!
Page 429 - Inheritance of desolation leaves To great.expecting Hopes : He looks thereon, As from the shore of Peace, with unwet eye, And bears no venture in Impiety.
Page 397 - Fixed, within reach of every human eye ; The sleepless ocean murmurs for all ears ; The vernal field infuses fresh delight Into all hearts. Throughout the world of sense, Even as an object is sublime or fair, That object is laid open to the view Without reserve or veil ; and as a power Is salutary, or an influence sweet, Are each and all enabled to perceive That power, that influence, by impartial law.
Page xiii - Such grateful haunts foregoing, if I oft Must turn elsewhere — to travel near the tribes And fellowships of men, and see ill sights Of madding passions mutually inflamed; Must hear Humanity in fields and groves Pipe solitary anguish; or must hang Brooding above the fierce confederate storm Of sorrow, barricadoed evermore Within the walls of cities...