Ode: Intimation of Immortality By William Wordsworth

Ode: Intimation of Immortality

  By William Wordsworth
The child is father of the man; 
And I could wish my days to be 
Bound each to each by natural piety. 
(Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”) 
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, 
The earth, and every common sight, 
To me did seem 
Apparelled in celestial light, 
The glory and the freshness of a dream. 
It is not now as it hath been of yore;— 
Turn wheresoe’er I may, 
By night or day. 
The things which I have seen I now can see no more. 
The Rainbow comes and goes, 
And lovely is the Rose, 
The Moon doth with delight 
Look round her when the heavens are bare, 
Waters on a starry night 
Are beautiful and fair; 
The sunshine is a glorious birth; 
But yet I know, where’er I go, 
That there hath past away a glory from the earth. 
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song, 
And while the young lambs bound 
As to the tabor’s sound, 
To me alone there came a thought of grief: 
A timely utterance gave that thought relief, 
And I again am strong: 
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; 
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong; 
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng, 
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep, 
And all the earth is gay; 
Land and sea 
Give themselves up to jollity, 
And with the heart of May 
Doth every Beast keep holiday;— 
Thou Child of Joy, 
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy. 
Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call 
Ye to each other make; I see 
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee; 
My heart is at your festival, 
My head hath its coronal, 
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all. 
Oh evil day! if I were sullen 
While Earth herself is adorning, 
This sweet May-morning, 
And the Children are culling 
On every side, 
In a thousand valleys far and wide, 
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, 
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother’s arm:— 
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear! 
—But there’s a Tree, of many, one, 
A single field which I have looked upon, 
Both of them speak of something that is gone; 
The Pansy at my feet 
Doth the same tale repeat: 
Whither is fled the visionary gleam? 
Where is it now, the glory and the dream? 
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: 
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 
And cometh from afar: 
Not in entire forgetfulness, 
And not in utter nakedness, 
But trailing clouds of glory do we come 
From God, who is our home: 
Heaven lies about us in our infancy! 
Shades of the prison-house begin to close 
Upon the growing Boy, 
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 
He sees it in his joy; 
The Youth, who daily farther from the east 
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest, 
And by the vision splendid 
Is on his way attended; 
At length the Man perceives it die away, 
And fade into the light of common day. 
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; 
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, 
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind, 
And no unworthy aim, 
The homely Nurse doth all she can 
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man, 
Forget the glories he hath known, 
And that imperial palace whence he came. 
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses, 
A six years’ Darling of a pigmy size! 
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies, 
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses, 
With light upon him from his father’s eyes! 
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart, 
Some fragment from his dream of human life, 
Shaped by himself with newly-learn{e}d art 
A wedding or a festival, 
A mourning or a funeral; 
And this hath now his heart, 
And unto this he frames his song: 
Then will he fit his tongue 
To dialogues of business, love, or strife; 
But it will not be long 
Ere this be thrown aside, 
And with new joy and pride 
The little Actor cons another part; 
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage” 
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, 
That Life brings with her in her equipage; 
As if his whole vocation 
Were endless imitation. 
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie 
Thy Soul’s immensity; 
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep 
Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind, 
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep, 
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,— 
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest! 
On whom those truths do rest, 
Which we are toiling all our lives to find, 
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; 
Thou, over whom thy Immortality 
Broods like the Day, a Master o’er a Slave, 
A Presence which is not to be put by; 
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might 
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height, 
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke 
The years to bring the inevitable yoke, 
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? 
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight, 
And custom lie upon thee with a weight, 
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life! 
O joy! that in our embers 
Is something that doth live, 
That Nature yet remembers 
What was so fugitive! 
The thought of our past years in me doth breed 
Perpetual benediction: not indeed 
For that which is most worthy to be blest; 
Delight and liberty, the simple creed 
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest, 
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:— 
Not for these I raise 
The song of thanks and praise 
But for those obstinate questionings 
Of sense and outward things, 
Fallings from us, vanishings; 
Blank misgivings of a Creature 
Moving about in worlds not realised, 
High instincts before which our mortal Nature 
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised: 
But for those first affections, 
Those shadowy recollections, 
Which, be they what they may 
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day, 
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing; 
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make 
Our noisy years seem moments in the being 
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, 
To perish never; 
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour, 
Nor Man nor Boy, 
Nor all that is at enmity with joy, 
Can utterly abolish or destroy! 
Hence in a season of calm weather 
Though inland far we be, 
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea 
Which brought us hither, 
Can in a moment travel thither, 
And see the Children sport upon the shore, 
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. 
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song! 
And let the young Lambs bound 
As to the tabor’s sound! 
We in thought will join your throng, 
Ye that pipe and ye that play, 
Ye that through your hearts to-day 
Feel the gladness of the May! 
What though the radiance which was once so bright 
Be now for ever taken from my sight, 
Though nothing can bring back the hour 
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; 
We will grieve not, rather find 
Strength in what remains behind; 
In the primal sympathy 
Which having been must ever be; 
In the soothing thoughts that spring 
Out of human suffering; 
In the faith that looks through death, 
In years that bring the philosophic mind. 
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves, 
Forebode not any severing of our loves! 
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; 
I only have relinquished one delight 
To live beneath your more habitual sway. 
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret, 
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they; 
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day 
Is lovely yet; 
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun 
Do take a sober colouring from an eye 
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality; 
Another race hath been, and other palms are won. 
Thanks to the human heart by which we live, 
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, 
To me the meanest flower that blows can give 
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Summary of “Ode: Intimation of Immortality”

William Wordsworth was a prolific and disputed author. a significant figure within the English Romantic movement, he was called the optimistic author of diverse lyrical poems, that were written in a verystraightforward language dedicated to a narcissus, a daisy, or a butterfly, symbols of the splendor of all nature (living and nonliving). The renowned English author and critic literary critic thought Wordsworth’s poetry had “healing powers,” educating individuals to feel once more. Wordsworth’s theory of poetry was supported passion and emotions. He believed that even the thoughts rest in feelings.

Ode treats the being of human life, victimization the poet’s personal life expertise combined with a Platonic thought. Wordsworth 1st mentioned the lasting importance of childhood reminiscences of nature upon the adult mind in “Lines Composed some Miles on top of Tintern Abbey” (1798). additionally to Plato’s renowned theory concerning such reminiscences, another doable influence on the author might are the book Silex Scintillans (1650, 1655) by the Welsh-born non secular author Henry Sarah Vaughan.

The main thought of Wordsworth’s lyric} relies on the poet’s belief that the “Child is Father of the Man” a sentiment taken from John Milton’s Paradise Regained (1671) and employed by Wordsworth in his short poem “My Heart Leaps Up” (Complete Poetical Works, 1802). In the Ode, he explains that birth is “a sleep and a forgetting,” not the start of life. Thus, he believes, youngsters still carry an excellent memory of the “imperial” heaven as their home with God. Innocent babies and youngsters see the wonder of the terrestrial world not solelywith their physical eyes however additionally and even a lot of through their hearts and souls, that carry a pre-existent sense of the religious presence. With AN elegiac and undoubtedly a unhappy tone, the lyric poem starts with the poet’s own memory of that happy place (or state of spirit and mind).

Ode: Intimation of Immortality By William Wordsworth
Ode: Intimation of Immortality By William Wordsworth
Because of their still recent and contemporary memory of the celestial glory, Wordsworth claims, youngstersboard a dream-like world of pure joy and fascination. Gradually, whereas growing, they begin to forget. The blissfulness fades into the sunshine of standard day. Their attention becomes egoistic, less dedicated to solitary thinking and curious questioning. They become physically and mentally concerned in numerous activities, in attending college, and within the distractions of crowds. There area unit rife, pressuring, mundane routines to be learned daily. per the poet’s vision of that stage of life, every individual bit by bit becomes a “prisoner” and “imitator” of others and of typical ways that of life. To fill the shrewish feeling of innate loneliness, a youth craves to mix in, to be accepted into one thing larger, to belong. when losing the celestial freedom and also theantecedently in hand grandeur of peace and harmony, the individual is absorbed in a very constant rummage around for the self and also the lost paradise.

The author laments this loss, however he believes that it’s not complete. His acclaimed positivism of outlook is expressed in varied poems, particularly lyrical poetry, and perpetually with a philosophical, typically instructive , touch. He combines the traditional, pre-Christian Plato’s read together with his own Christian-based theory, adding a private twist. Wordsworth believes there’s knowledge in maturity and a unique,…
Updated: December 7, 2019 — 12:23 pm