William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
The Excursion

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
The Excursion > (1795-1814)

Introductory note
Preface to the edition of 1814
Book First: The Wanderer
Book Second: The Solitary
Book Third: Despondency
Book Fourth: Despondency Corrected
Book Fifth: The Pastor
Book Sixth: The Churchyard among the Mountains
Book Seventh: The Churchyard among the Mountains--(continued)
Book Eighth: The Parsonage
Book Ninth: Discourse of the Wanderer, and an Evening Visit to the Lake

Book Fourth: Despondency Corrected (excerpt)
          <  The Solitary lifted toward the hills
          A kindling eye:--accordant feelings rushed
          Into my bosom, whence these words broke forth:
          "Oh! what a joy it were, in vigorous health,
          To have a body (this our vital frame
          With shrinking sensibility endued,                         510
          And all the nice regards of flesh and blood)
          And to the elements surrender it
          As if it were a spirit!--How divine,
          The liberty, for frail, for mortal, man
          To roam at large among unpeopled glens
          And mountainous retirements, only trod
          By devious footsteps; regions consecrate
          To oldest time! and, reckless of the storm
          That keeps the raven quiet in her nest,
          Be as a presence or a motion--one                          520
          Among the many there; and while the mists
          Flying, and rainy vapours, call out shapes
          And phantoms from the crags and solid earth
          As fast as a musician scatters sounds
          Out of an instrument; and while the streams
          (As at a first creation and in haste
          To exercise their untried faculties)
          Descending from the region of the clouds,
          And starting from the hollows of the earth
          More multitudinous every moment, rend                      530
          Their way before them--what a joy to roam
          An equal among mightiest energies;
          And haply sometimes with articulate voice,
          Amid the deafening tumult, scarcely heard
          By him that utters it, exclaim aloud,
          'Rage on ye elements! let moon and stars
          Their aspects lend, and mingle in their turn
          With this commotion (ruinous though it be)
          From day to night, from night to day, prolonged!'" >

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
The Excursion (1795-1814)
William Wordsworth
The complete poetical works
... With an introduction by John Morley.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1888
Electronic text: http://www.bartleby.com
Columbia University, Academic Information Systems (AcIS), Bartleby Library (publications@columbia.edu).
Transcribed, proofread, and marked-up in HTML, December 1993. Markup, graphics, and added files
© copyright 1993-96 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.