Wordsworth’s Sonnets (Forerunners)

Underfoot Poetry

While William Wordsworth is rightly known for his longer poems – whether on the poor and destitute, or his immortality ode, or the book-length Prelude – his sonnets are also something to be reckoned with. Here are a handful of them; if you know of others, do note them in the comments. And since Wordsworth revised his poetry throughout his life, many of you may know these poems in slightly different forms; the text is taken from the Major Works volume from Oxford World’s Classics, which reproduces the earliest version of each poem.

London, 1802

Milton! thou should’st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give…

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