"There's Not A Man That Lives Who Hath Not Known His God-like Hours"
Context: Written between 1798-1805, this poem in fourteen books describes the "growth of a poet's mind"–the formative years, his dedication to poetry, the crisis of his beliefs in association with the French Revolution, and the painstaking reestablishment of faith in himself and his poetic powers. The third book recounts his experiences at Cambridge as a college student and his uneasiness with the restraint of the classroom and the rigors of examination. Often "did I quit my comrades" and pace "alone the level fields." Here the power and beauty of nature spoke "perpetual logic to my soul." And such moments of inspirational bliss are common, he says, to the hearts of all men. He writes:
Points have we all of us within our soulsWhere all stand single; this I feel, and makeBreathings for incommunicable powers;But is not each a memory to himself,And, therefore, now that we must quit this theme,I am not heartless, for there's not a manThat lives who hath not known his god-like hours,And feels not what an empire we inheritAs natural beings in the strength of Nature.