Intimations of Immortality Poem by William Wordsworth, Download Pdf (2024)

Ode: Intimations of Immortality

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Ode: Intimations of Immortality Poem – by William Wordsworth (Text-Version)

The child is father of the man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.
(Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”)

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare,
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every Beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy.

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother’s arm:—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a Tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone;
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.

Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ Darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learn{e}d art
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little Actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage”
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy Soul’s immensity;
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a Master o’er a Slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Intimations of Immortality Poem by William Wordsworth, Download Pdf (2024)


What is the famous line from Ode Intimations of Immortality? ›

The sunshine is a glorious birth; But yet I know, where'er I go, That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

What is the theme of the poem Intimations of Immortality? ›

The poem, whose full title is “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” makes explicit Wordsworth's belief that life on earth is a dim shadow of an earlier, purer existence, dimly recalled in childhood and then forgotten in the process of growing up.

What does Wordsworth regret in Ode Intimations of Immortality? ›

Wordsworth refers to "A timely utterance" in the third stanza, possibly the same event found in his The Rainbow, and the ode contains feelings of regret that the experience must end. This regret is joined with feelings of uneasiness that he no longer feels the same way he did as a boy.

What is the summary of Ode Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth? ›

'Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood' by William Wordsworth speaks about growing up and losing one's connection to nature. The poem begins with the speaker mourning the loss of his youth and the deeper connection he used to have to the natural world.

What are the symbols in the ode Intimations of Immortality? ›

Symbols & Motifs

Living creatures are also included, from the rose (Line 11) to birds and lambs (Lines 19-20) to the shepherd boy (Line 35). This range is important because Wordsworth wants to emphasize nature's all-encompassing persona.

What is the quote at the beginning of immortals? ›

Amusingly, there is a Socrates quote at the beginning and end of the film: “All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.” Amusing because Socrates was known for being ugly and good.

What is the message of the poem? ›

The message of a poem is often conveyed through the emotions and ideas expressed by the poet. By examining the language and structure of the poem, readers can gain insight into the poet's intended message.

What does Ode mean? ›

1. : a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms. Keats's ode "To a Nightingale" 2. : something that shows respect for or celebrates the worth or influence of another : homage.

What is Platonism in Ode on Intimations of immortality? ›

Platonism has left no more manifest imprint upon English poetry than within Wordsworth's Ode finally subtitled 'Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood': it takes up the idea that each human soul exists before conception and birth for which Plato argues, most familiarly,in the Phaedo (72e–78b).

Is the child father of the man Wordsworth? ›

"Child is father of the man" is an idiom originating from the poem "My Heart Leaps Up" by William Wordsworth. There are many different interpretations of the phrase, the most popular of which is that man is the product of habits and behavior developed in youth.

What does too deep for tears mean? ›

moving that they “often are too deep for tears.” Wordsworth is so moved and the thoughts are so deep that he often cannot weep. Wordsworth's thoughts are “deep” in the sense of being “intimations,” glimpses, of things “way down,” almost out of sight.

What is Wordsworth's message in the poem? ›

The oeuvre of Wordsworth's poetry highlights the importance of remaining connected with the natural world and not becoming lost in the pursuit of wealth. He idealises pastoral and Rustic beauty, glorifying the ordinary in his representation of rural scenes and mundane subjects of everyday life.

What is the famous quote from Ode Intimations of Immortality? ›

"Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting"

Hence, Wordsworth is able to call the child "Thou best Philosopher," because he, clearer in vision and closer to his immortal origins, can see that which the adult has lost the power to understand, most particularly the beauty of nature.

What is the meaning of the meanest flower that blows? ›

In the words of the poem, however, not tragedy but "the meanest flower. that blows" brings to mind "thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." Wordsworth surely knew that tragedy had not traditionally been assigned such a. task. Exceedingly rich and various, eighteenth-century tragic theory proposed.

How is memory presented in Intimations of Immortality? ›

Memory and Sense of Loss

Wordsworth is concerned with the theme of memory and the passing of time in the “Immortality Ode.” In the first stanza the speaker is reminiscing on the times of old when everything seemed to be “appareled in celestial light,/ The glory and the freshness of a dream.” (1:4-5).

What does trailing clouds of glory mean? ›

Here Wordsworth hints at the idea of a 'pre-existence', the sense that to be born is to come from God, “trailing clouds of glory”, and much of the poem can be considered a kind of hymn to childhood, reflecting on the seeming fact that to enter into adulthood is to be increasingly separated from this wonder and glory ...

What is the epigraph in Ode Intimations of Immortality? ›

The original Latin epigraph comes from the first line of the fourth of Virgil's Eclogues (also called Bucolics or Pastorals): paulo maiora canamus, or “let us sing a little of greater things.” Dryden translates this phrase more loosely as “begin a loftier strain.” This short text is reminiscent of Beethoven's own ...

What is the first line of Ode to the West Wind? ›

The first stanza begins with the alliteration "wild West Wind" (line 1). The form of the apostrophe makes the wind also a personification. However, one must not think of this ode as an optimistic praise of the wind; it is clearly associated with autumn.

What is the significance of the river Wye in the poem "Tintern Abbey"? ›

Revisiting the natural beauty of the Wye after five years fills the poet with a sense of "tranquil restoration". He recognises in the landscape something which had been so internalised as to become the basis for out of the body experience.

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