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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth

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356 poems by William Wordsworth. Earth has not anything to show more fair:

Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Wordsworth uses the title to set the scene “Composed upon Westminster Bridge” this shows he is wanting to pinpoint exactly where he was when he witnessed this beautiful sight and it shows that what he is describing is how he was actually feeling as he stood on the bridge and witnessed this sight. He describes “this city” so it is shown that he is talking about the city as a whole as well as just this sight. The use of a list to describe all things he is witnessing “silent, bare, ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky” this shows he is referring about everything being beautiful that he could see from the bridge and not just nature but man made things too. Wordsworth uses the morning and he uses the specific time of day which suggests that London is not as beautiful when it becomes the busy and bustling city it is usually described as. Wordsworth describes the morning “This city how doth, Like a garment, wear the beauty of the morning” This simile portrays the morning of London as being so visually eye pleasing that it could be worn as a “garment” to make something look more attractive. Also garments are usually eye-catching or glittering but could be removed like clothes.

By comparing the morning to a garment it allows the readers to appreciate the early morning of London and the sight Wordsworth is describing. Wordsworth uses personification to compare the beauty of the sun to a person “Never did sun more beautifully steep” this shows the slow movement as if someone has just woken up and it adds to the peaceful atmosphere Wordsworth creates. Wordsworth conveys the continuous theme of the beauty of nature throughout all stanzas of the poem. Wordsworth uses a list “valley rock, or hill” this shows he is comparing the natural things of the world to the scene he was witnessing to show the extreme beauty he was seeing. He uses soft words like “touching” and “sweet will” this enhances the idea of great calmness and it creates a scene of freedom and harmony. The poet’s word choice “majesty” compares the city to jewels and richness which makes it sound attractive and eye pleasing for the reader. Wordsworth uses repetition with the word “Never” highlights how beautiful this sight was for Wordsworth to witness.

The use of the word “never” is fore grounded in order to highlight how special the moment was. Wordsworth uses personifies the houses as he makes it out like them to be sleeping, “houses seem asleep” this shows how pure this moment was for Wordsworth and that everyone was sleeping after him describing how beautiful this sight was and no one was witnessing it. He is also suggesting that the sight he was witnessing was personified into a heart and that you couldn’t even here a heart beat it was so peaceful. The phrase “Dear God!” indicates that Wordsworth has risen to a more spiritual place in this own mind, the scene having acted as a springboard to this state of spiritual well being. In conclusion, Wordsworth conveys through various techniques the theme of the beauty of nature, in London. This shows how surreal this scene was and how it introduces an awe struck state as it is so beautiful.

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