I’ve loved this poem since school days, when London was an exciting city in ‘The South’, the centre of all new things, Houses of Parliament, pigeons in Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, fashion, theatre and the Arts.
Until lock-down I regularly walked across Waterloo Bridge and looked towards Westminster Bridge or the City. After 30 years I still feel a buzz when I cross The Thames, seeing the old buildings repurposed into offices or residential developments and all the new high-rise additions along the river.
With the onset of the lockdown I began to think about how Wordsworth's words resonate with me now that I cannot visit my beloved city only 14 miles away. If I were ever to get weary of London and all it offers, I would indeed be dull and soulless. I’m looking forward to the day when we can safely enjoy all that London has to offer in full.
Until the City gets back to some form of normality, the traffic returns, and commuters rush to work; enjoy and feel the calm of all that a virtual Westminster Bridge is offering you.
I invite you to read the poem below and imagine you are stood on Westminster Bridge at sunrise: it could have been written yesterday. Do you feel the same?
#London #Cityskyline #Wordsworth #WestminsterBridge
Composed upon Westminster Bridge on 3rd September 1802
Earth has not any thing 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; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!