Poems from the academy selected by Christopher Ricks

July 8, 2005

The Prelude, by William Wordsworth.

Of College labours, of the Lecturer's room
All studded round, as thick as chairs could stand,
With loyal students faithful to their books,
Half-and-half idlers, hardy recusants,
And honest dunces - of important days,
Examinations, when the man weighed
As in the balance! of excessive hopes,
Tremblings withal and commendable fears,
Small jealousies, and triumphs good or bad,
I make short mention; things they were which then I did not love, nor do I love them now.
Such glory was but little sought by me,
And little won. But it is right to say
That even so early, from the first crude days
Of settling time in this my new abode,
Not seldom I had melancholy thoughts,
From personal and family regards,
Wishing to hope without a hope, some fears
About my future worldly maintenance,
And, more than all, a strangeness in my mind,
A feeling that I was not for that hour, Nor for that place.

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