WILLIAM WORDSWORTH – BORN 1770 – DIED 1850
Champion of the “humble and rustic life in which “the essential passions of the heart find a better soil,” William Wordsworth was born April 7, 1770 at Cockermouth, Cumberland, near the River Derwent in the Lake District. His Father was an Attorney; his Mother, who died when Wordsworth was eight years old, was the daughter of a dry-goods merchant. Five years after his Mother’s death his Father died, and the five Children were scattered among schools and guardians. At seventeen Wordsworth was sent to St John’s College, Cambridge and it was here that he began to connect the images of the Countryside with his own thoughts, to celebrate the simple but romantic aspects of nature, and feel;
A motion and a spirit that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts,
And rolls through all things.
MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I BEHOLD
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
TO A SKYLARK
Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still:
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and home!
Debussy “Children’s Corner”