William Wordsworth’s London

Composed upon Westminster Bridge (1802)

Earth hath 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 splendor, 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!


Giovanni Antonio Canal, know as Canaletto (1697 - 1768) via Wikimedia Commons

Giovanni Antonio Canal, know as Canaletto (1697 – 1768) via Wikimedia Commons

William Wordsworth wurde am 7. April 1770 geboren. Das Sonnet entstand, als er 1802 mit seiner Schwester auf einer Reise nach Calais durch London kam. Wer auf William Wordsworths Spuren wandeln möchte, sollte jedoch in den Lake District reisen. Ramblingbrother hat sein Haus Rydal Mount besucht und berichtet hier darüber.

William Wordsworth was born on 7th April 1770. He wrote this sonnet when he passed through London while travelling with his sister to Calais in 1802. If you would like to travel in Wordsworth’s footsteps, you should go to the Lake District. Ramblingbrother has visited his house Rydal Mount and writes about it here.

Westminster Bridge and Houses of Parliament

Lange Zeit war London Bridge die einzige Brücke Londons. Die City, darauf bedacht, ihr Monopol zu verteidigen, boykottierte jeden Versuch, eine weitere Brücke über die Themse zu bauen. Die erste Westminster Bridge, auf der William Wordsworth stand, wurde zwischen 1739 und 1750 gebaut. Die heutige Westminster Bridge wurde erst 1862 eröffnet. William Wordsworth schaute auch nicht auf die heutigen Houses of Parliament, denn sie wurden erst zwischen 1840 und 1870 gebaut, nachdem der alte Palace of Westminster 1834 abgebrannt war.

For a long time London Bridge was the only bridge in London. The City, always keen to protect its monopoly, boycotted every attempt to build another crossing over the Thames. The first Westminster Bridge, the one William Wordsworth was standing on, was built between 1739 and 1750. Today’s bridge was only opened in 1862. Furthermore, William Wordsworth did not look upon today’s Houses of Parliament. They were only built between 1840 and 1870 after the old Palace of Westminster had burnt down in 1834.


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