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The world is too much with us

May 8, 2013

This morning an American gentleman sat in our window seat looking out at the beautiful vista of St Giles’.  He had ordered a pot of tea , our delicious blend of Assam Leaf, Darjeeling Leaf and Kenyan Broken pekoe.  It was evident that he had come to take stock of the world.

He is visiting Oxford for a few days to catch up with old friends and was on his way to meet one of our more famous poet, actor and playwright residents.

In conversation, he quoted me the first line of William Wordsworths’s  “The World is Too Much With Us”.

So here is the full text of that:

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;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

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