A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

by William Wordsworth

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) was an English Romantic poet who defined poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” Unconventional for his time, he advocated the use of everyday language in verse. Also unusual was his choice of subject matter – primarily nature, but also women, children, the poor, and the oppressed. This revolutionary style gradually transformed into mainstream acceptability and Wordsworth was eventually named Poet Laureate of England in 1843.

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