Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Original Text: 
William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984). bib MASS (Massey College Library, Toronto).
2Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
3A sight so touching in its majesty:
4This City now doth, like a garment, wear
5The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
6Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
7Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
8All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
9Never did sun more beautifully steep
10In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
11Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
12The river glideth at his own sweet will:
13Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
14And all that mighty heart is lying still!


1] Dorothy Wordsworth in her Journal July 31, 1802, described the scene as she and her brother left London, early in the morning, for their month-long visit to Calais: "It was a beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light; that there was something like the purity of one of nature's own grand spectacles." Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.372.