Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 by William Wordsworth

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"Earth Has Not Anything To Show More Fair"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: This sonnet is a description of the view seen from a bridge across the Thames. That nature had the power to move Wordsworth deeply is a commonplace statement. At this hour in the early morning, when "the very houses seem asleep," London, ordinarily so smoke-begrimed and depressing, has put on a fresh beauty. In the clear morning sunlight, the huge city is "open unto the fields, and to the sky," as if it were a country village. The sonnet is a glimpse of the pure beauty of nature caught in the city at a particular moment, when "all that mighty heart is lying still." The poem begins:

Earth has 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. . . .