A Selection from the Sonnets of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850)

This is a very impressive collection of some of the best sonnets from the pen of the incomparable William Wordsworth. The appreciation that Wordsworth had for the beauty of his surroundings is vibrantly exhibited in these selections, as are his feelings on love, friendship, society, conflict, history, the supernatural and indeed the art of poetry itself. And what better vehicle for the elegant articulation of a master poet's thoughts and inspirations than the sonnet, an art form ideally suited to assertion, verbalization and contemplation.

In these sonnets, we witness Wordsworth's poetic expertise at its best in superb descriptions of nature's splendor which he astutely juxtaposes with his reflections on a world that is "too much with us," a world in which, "man for brother man has ceased to feel."

The sanctuary that Wordsworth found and which forms the basis for the inspiration displayed in many of these sonnets was the magnificent Lake District of England, which he depicted as, "At happy distance from Earth's groaning field, / Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars." Such a sanctuary the poet would have wished for us all, and indeed provided the means for at least our vicarious enjoyment in the form of these enduring and timeless works of art.
- Summary by Bruce Kachuk

Genre(s): Single author, Sonnets

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room Bruce Kachuk
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Play 02 Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned Bruce Kachuk
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Play 03 Written in very Early Youth Bruce Kachuk
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Play 04 I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret Bruce Kachuk
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Play 05 How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright Bruce Kachuk
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Play 06 While not a leaf seems faded; while the fields Bruce Kachuk
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Play 07 There is a pleasure in poetic pains Bruce Kachuk
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Play 08 Oxford, May 30, 1820 Bruce Kachuk
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Play 09 A Parsonage in Oxfordshire Bruce Kachuk
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Play 10 Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour! Bruce Kachuk
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Play 11 Mark the concentred hazels that enclose Bruce Kachuk
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Play 12 Composed at Rydal on May Morning, 1838 Bruce Kachuk
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Play 13 Though the bold wings of Poesy affect Bruce Kachuk
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Play 14 Pelion and Ossa flourish side by side Bruce Kachuk
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Play 15 To Sleep Bruce Kachuk
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Play 16 Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep! Bruce Kachuk
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Play 17 The River Eden, Cumberland Bruce Kachuk
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Play 18 Surprised by joy - impatient as the Wind Bruce Kachuk
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Play 19 Her only pilot the soft breeze, the boat Bruce Kachuk
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Play 20 With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh Bruce Kachuk
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Play 21 Where lies the Land to which yon Ship must go? Bruce Kachuk
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Play 22 Sole listener, Duddon! to the Breeze that played Bruce Kachuk
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Play 23 What aspect bore the Man who roved or fled Bruce Kachuk
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Play 24 Hail to the fields - with dwellings sprinkled o'er Bruce Kachuk
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Play 25 The Stepping-Stones Bruce Kachuk
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Play 26 Whence that low voice? - A whisper from the heart Bruce Kachuk
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Play 27 I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide Bruce Kachuk
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Play 28 Brook! whose society the poet seeks Bruce Kachuk
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Play 29 Methinks that to some vacant hermitage Bruce Kachuk
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Play 30 There is a little unpretending Rill Bruce Kachuk
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Play 31 Written upon a Blank Leaf in "The Complete Angler" Bruce Kachuk
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Play 32 Oh Friend! I know not which way I must look Bruce Kachuk
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Play 33 The world is too much with us; late and soon Bruce Kachuk
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Play 34 Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour Bruce Kachuk
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Play 35 Great men have been among us; hands that penned Bruce Kachuk
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Play 36 It is not to be thought of that the Flood Bruce Kachuk
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Play 37 When I have borne in memory what has tamed Bruce Kachuk
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Play 38 Near Dover Bruce Kachuk
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Play 39 Vanguard of Liberty, ye men of Kent Bruce Kachuk
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Play 40 Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland Bruce Kachuk
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Play 41 An Invasion Being Expected, October 1803 Bruce Kachuk
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Play 42 Composed in the Valley near Dover, on the Day of Landing Bruce Kachuk
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Play 43 Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell Bruce Kachuk
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Play 44 To Toussaint L'Ouverture Bruce Kachuk
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Play 45 When Philoctetes in the Lemnian Isle Bruce Kachuk
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Play 46 When haughty expectations prostrate lie Bruce Kachuk
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Play 47 O'er the wide earth, on mountain and on plain Bruce Kachuk
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Play 48 On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic Bruce Kachuk
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Play 49 By Grasmere Lake Bruce Kachuk
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Play 50 Composed by the Sea-Side, Near Calais Bruce Kachuk
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Play 51 As leaves are to the tree whereon they grow Bruce Kachuk
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Play 52 Adieu, Rydalian Laurels! that have grown Bruce Kachuk
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Play 53 The Trosachs Bruce Kachuk
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Play 54 Admonition Bruce Kachuk
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Play 55 The forest huge of ancient Caledon Bruce Kachuk
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Play 56 Aix-la-Chapelle Bruce Kachuk
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Play 57 Between Namur and Li├Ęge Bruce Kachuk
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Play 58 Composed on Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802 Bruce Kachuk
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Play 59 Roman Antiquities Bruce Kachuk
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Play 60 The Monument commonly called Long Meg and Her Daughters, near the River Eden Bruce Kachuk
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Play 61 There! said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride Bruce Kachuk
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Play 62 Mary Queen of Scots Bruce Kachuk
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Play 63 In sight of the Town of Cockermouth Bruce Kachuk
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Play 64 A Place of Burial in the South of Scotland Bruce Kachuk
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Play 65 Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes Bruce Kachuk
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Play 66 In King's College Chapel, Cambridge Bruce Kachuk
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Play 67 They dreamt not of a perishable home Bruce Kachuk
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Play 68 Rural Ceremony Bruce Kachuk
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Play 69 Places of Worship Bruce Kachuk
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Play 70 Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high Bruce Kachuk
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Play 71 The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said Bruce Kachuk
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Play 72 With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the sky Bruce Kachuk
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Play 73 The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand Bruce Kachuk
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Play 74 To a Snow-drop Bruce Kachuk
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Play 75 Hark! 'tis the Thrush, undaunted, undeprest Bruce Kachuk
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Play 76 I dropped my pen; and listened to the Wind Bruce Kachuk
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Play 77 It is a beauteous evening, calm and free Bruce Kachuk
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Play 78 To the Cuckoo Bruce Kachuk
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Play 79 Near Anio's stream, I spied a gentle Dove Bruce Kachuk
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Play 80 Composed on a May Morning Bruce Kachuk
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Play 81 Personal Talk Bruce Kachuk
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Play 82 Yet life, you say, "is life; we have seen and see" Bruce Kachuk
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Play 83 Wings have we - and as far as we can go Bruce Kachuk
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Play 84 Nor can I not believe but that hereby Bruce Kachuk
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Play 85 How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks Bruce Kachuk
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Play 86 Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant Bruce Kachuk
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Play 87 To the Planet Venus, an Evening Star Bruce Kachuk
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Play 88 Valedictory Sonnet Bruce Kachuk
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