Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

William Wordsworth

English Poet

"Self-inspection - the best cure for self-esteem... By all means sometimes be alone; salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear; dare to look in thy chest, and tumble up and down what thou findest there."

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love."

"Strongest minds are often those of whom the noisy world hears last."

"The eye - it cannot choose but see; we cannot bid the ear be still; our bodies feel, where ’er they be, against or with our will."

"I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thought; a sense sublime of something far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, and the round ocean of the living air, and the blue sky, and in the mind of man - a motion and a spirit, that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought, and rolls through all things."

"Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop than when we soar."

"Thought and theory must precede all salutary action; yet action is nobler in itself that either thought or theory."

"True dignity abides with him only, who, in the silent hour of inward thought, can still suspect, and still revere himself, in lowliness of heart."

"We live by admiration, hope and love."

"All things are less dreadful then they seem."

"A man he seems of cheerful yesterdays"

"Blessings be with them, and eternal praise who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares, the poets, who on earth have made us heirs of truth and pure delight, by heavenly lays."

"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."

"From the body of one guilty deed a thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed."

"God approves the depth, but not the tumult, of the soul."

"Habit rules the unreflecting herd."

"Heaven lies about us in our infancy."

"He is oft the wisest man who is not wise at all."

"Minds that have nothing to confer find little to perceive."

"Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better for the future."

"Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity."

"Miss not the occasion; by the forelock take that subtle power, the never-halting time."

"Sweetest melodies are those that are by distance made more sweet."

"The wisest, happiest of our kind are they that ever walk content with Nature's way."

"The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours."

"These two things, contradictory as they may seem, must go together - manly dependence and manly independence, manly reliance and manly self-reliance."

"That inward eye which is the bliss of solitude."

"Nature did not betray the heart that loved her."

"The child is father of the man."

"The thought of our past years in me doth breed perpetual benediction."

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."

"Those eyes, soft and capricious as a cloudless sky, whose azure depth their color emulates, must needs be conversant with upward looks - prayer’s voiceless service."

"Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar."

"Wisdom sits with children round her knees."

"All good poetry is spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility."

"Faith in life endless, the sustaining thought of human Being, Eternity, and God."

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; the Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, hath had elsewhere its setting. And cometh from afar."

"Have I not reason to lament what man has made of man?"

"Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy, but he beholds the light, and whence it flows, he sees it in his joy; the youth, who daily farther from the east must travel, still is Nature’s priest, and by the vision splendid is on his way attended; at length the man perceives it die away, and fade into the light of common day."

"I felt the sentiment of Being spread o’er all that moves and all that seemeth still; o’er that, lost beyond the reach of thought and human knowledge, to the human eye invisible, yet liveth to the heart."

"True knowledge leads to love."

"Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science."

"Our destiny, our being’s heart and home, is with infinitude, and only there."

"Say, what is Honor? – `Tis the finest sense of justice which the human mind can frame."

"The Child is the father of the Man."

"True dignity abides with him alone who, in the silent hour of inward thought, can still suspect, and still revere himself, in lowliness of heart."

"What need there is to be reserved in speech and temper all our thoughts with charity."

"We live by Admiration, Hope and Love; and even as these are well and wisely fixed, in dignity of being we ascend."

"A Briton even in love should be A subject, not a slave!"

"A brotherhood of venerable trees."