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William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was born in Cockermouth, in the Lake District. His Lyrical Ballads, written in collaboration with Coleridge, was published in 1798, and shortly afterwards he settled in Dove Cottage, Grasmere, with his sister Dorothy. Inspired in his early manhood by the French Revolution, he grew disillusioned with revolutionary politics and in later life became decidedly conservative. He left a vast body of work, ranging from delicately simple lyrics to deeply meditative odes – his most fully-realised ambitious work being The Prelude. This collection is read by Oliver Ford Davies and Jasper Britton.
William Wordsworth: The Great Poets
from Book One of The Prelude: 'Fair seed-time had my soul…'
Lines written in Early Spring
from Book One of The Prelude: 'And in the frosty season…'
To My Sister
from Book Five of The Prelude: 'While I was seated in a rocky cave…'
from Book Twelve of The Prelude: 'There are in our existence…'
I wandered lonely as a cloud
Goody Blake and Harry Gill
Expostulation and Reply
The Tables Turned
There was a Boy
Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, Sept 3rd, 1802
Strange fits of passion have I known
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
A slumber did my spirit seal
French Revolution, as it appeared to enthusiasts at its commencement.
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free
The Solitary Reaper
She was a Phantom of delight
Surprised by joy – impatient as the wind
The world is too much with us
My heart leaps up when I behold
The Small Celandine
The Simplon Pass from Book Six of The Prelude
To the Cuckoo
Resolution and Independence
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood