By William Wordsworth
Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, into which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.
Source: The Longman Anthology of Poetry (Pearson, 2006)
William Wordsworth, born in Cumbria, England, began writing poetry in grammar school. Before graduating from college, he went on a walking tour of Europe, which deepened his love for nature and his sympathy for the common man, both major themes in his poetry. Wordsworth is best known for Lyrical Ballads, co-written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and The Prelude, a Romantic epic on the “growth of a poet’s mind.”
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