Upon Westminster Bridge

by William Wordsworth

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!

 

 

Title:

Upon Westminster Bridge

Poet:

Wordsworth, William

Year of Publication:

1802

Age Appropriate:

14-15

Subject:

Famous Places

Form:

Petrarchan Sonnet

Stanza:

2

Type:

description

Lines:

14

Meter:

Spondaic

Rhyme:

abbaabba cdcdcd

Things to Discuss:

What does Wordsworth attribute the beauty of the city to? Where in the poem does the poet use personification? Where does the poet create a volta? What sound in a word must be altered in order not to disturb the rhyme scheme abba? You may wish to compare William Blake's poem London with that of Wordsworth's.

About the Poem:

The poem was written in 1802 when Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, traveling in London by coach, paused on Westminster Bridge.