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William Wordsworth
According To...



"And Wordsworth!--Ah, pale ghosts, rejoice!
For never has such soothing voice
Been to your shadowy world convey'd,
Since erst, at morn, some wandering shade
Heard the clear song of Orpheus come
Through Hades, and the mournful gloom.
Wordsworth has gone from us--and ye,
Ah, may ye feel his voice as we!
He too upon a wintry clime
Had fallen--on this iron time
Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears.
He found us when the age had bound
Our souls in its benumbing round;
He spoke, and loosed our heart in tears.
He laid us as we lay at birth
On the cool flowery lap of earth,
Smiles broke from us and we had ease;

The hills were round us, and the breeze
Went o'er the sun-lit fields again;
Our foreheads felt the wind and rain.
Our youth return'd; for there was shed
On spirits that had long been dead,
Spirits dried up and closely furl'd,
The freshness of the early world.

Ah! since dark days still bring to light
Man's prudence and man's fiery might,
Time may restore us in his course
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;
But where will Europe's latter hour
Again find Wordsworth's healing power?
Others will teach us how to dare,
And against fear our breast to steel;
Others will strengthen us to bear--
But who, ah! who, will make us feel?
The cloud of mortal destiny,
Others will front it fearlessly--
But who, like him, will put it by?
Keep fresh the grass upon his grave,
O Rotha, with thy living wave!
Sing him thy best! for few or none
Hears thy voice right, now he is gone. "
- Matthew Arnold Memorial Verses
 
"William, my teacher, my friend! dear William and dear Dorothea!
Smooth out the folds of my letter, and place it on desk or on table;..."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge From the poem "Hexameters"
 
"Wordsworth, the great poet, is coming to town; he is to have apartments in the Mansion House. He says he does not see much difficulty in writing like Shakespeare, if he had a mind to try it. It is clear that nothing is wanting but the mind."
- Charles Lamb
 
"This laurel, greener from the brow
Of him that uttered nothing base."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson On succeeding Wordsworth as Laureate
 
"The high water mark of poetry in the nineteenth century."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Regarding "Intimations of Immortality"