Written in London. September, 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).
2For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
3To think that now our life is only drest
4For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
5Or groom! -- We must run glittering like a brook
6In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
7The wealthiest man among us is the best:
8No grandeur now in nature or in book
9Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
10This is idolatry; and these we adore:
11Plain living and high thinking are no more:
12The homely beauty of the good old cause
13Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
14And pure religion breathing household laws.


1] "This was written immediately after my return from France to London, when I could not but be struck, as here described, with the vanity and parade of our own country, especially in great towns and cities, as contrasted with the quiet, and I may say the desolation, that the Revolution had produced in France. This must be borne in mind, or else the reader may think that in this and the succeeding sonnets I have exaggerated the mischief engendered and fostered among us by undisturbed wealth" (W. W., in 1843).
O Friend!: Coleridge. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. R. MacGillivray
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.373.