Ode. Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood Quotes

William Wordsworth

"Another Race Hath Been, And Other Palms Are Won"

Context: In the earlier stanzas of his celebrated ode, Wordsworth has written of his awareness of a loss of freshness and radiance in living and of his temporary grief over the loss. (See "The rainbow comes and goes.") But though he is now in middle age and will not know again "the hour/ Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower," he will not grieve but rather find strength in what remains: in "primal sympathy" and compassion for man, in faith, and in the development of a philosophical view. As he concludes his ode, he weighs his losses and his gains and finds himself richer than before. The earth still shows its beauties, and because of what has happened in the growth of his heart and mind, he may still win palms in the remaining race of life:

I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.