Sunday, July 14, 2013

Poet's Corner- William Wordsworth's "Ode To The French Revolution"- In Honor Of Its 224th Anniversary

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip about William Wordsworth.

Markin Comment:

Here is William Wordsworth's famous ode to the beginning of the French revolution full of all the youthful enthusiasm such a world historic event can elicit. That he, like many another former 'friend' of revolutions over the ages, went over to the other side when things got too hot does not take away from his efforts here.

The French Revolution as it appeared to Enthusiasts

. Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!

For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood

Upon our side, we who were strong in love!

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,

But to be young was very heaven!—

Oh! times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways

Of custom, law, and statute, took at once

The attraction of a country in romance!

When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,

When most intent on making of herself

A prime Enchantress--to assist the work

Which then was going forward in her name!

Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,

The beauty wore of promise, that which sets

(As at some moment might not be unfelt

Among the bowers of paradise itself )

The budding rose above the rose full blown.

What temper at the prospect did not wake

To happiness unthought of? The inert

Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!

They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,

The playfellows of fancy, who had made

All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength

Their ministers,--who in lordly wise had stirred

Among the grandest objects of the sense,

And dealt with whatsoever they found there

As if they had within some lurking right

To wield it;--they, too, who, of gentle mood,

Had watched all gentle motions, and to these

Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers more wild,

And in the region of their peaceful selves;--

Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty

Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,

And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish;

Were called upon to exercise their skill,

Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,

Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where!

But in the very world, which is the world

Of all of us,--the place where in the end

We find our happiness, or not at all!

William Wordsworth

No comments:

Post a Comment