Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

William Wordsworth, read by Adam Foulds


Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

William Wordsworth, read by Adam Foulds


Poem introduction

This poem offers the city as landscape, reconnects the city to the landscape and the sky. The power that Wordsworth typically feels in the natural world, in this urban world, is human and asleep. It is as though the solitary poet at dawn, is a receiver and transmitter for the subconscious of the city. Undistracted by busy, conscious activity the city is in touch with a deeper sense of presence and being.

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth 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,
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 splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er 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!

Books by William Wordsworth