Hunt and Lee, comps. The Book of the Sonnet. 1867. X. Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1803
By William Wordsworth (17701850)
E ARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty.
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, 5
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep,
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill; 10
Neer saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; And all that mighty heart is lying still! 1
I cannot refrain from asking the reader to recall his feelings when he has happened to pass along the streets of a city yet in its slumbers, and, unless my own deceive me, he will find, I think, an echo to them in this sonnet. [ Note 1. back]