It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free

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)
2The holy time is quiet as a Nun
3Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
4Is sinking down in its tranquility;
5The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea;
6Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
7And doth with his eternal motion make
8A sound like thunder--everlastingly.
9Dear child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
10If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
11Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
13And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
14God being with thee when we know it not.


1] The poem was written at Calais, where Wordsworth and his sister had gone to meet Annette Vallon and her child, his French daughter Caroline. "We walked by the sea-shore almost every evening with Annette and Caroline, or William and I alone" (Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal). Back to Line
12] See Luke 16: 22. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.372.