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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

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[304] "The World Is Too Much With Us," by Wordsworth (1770-1850), is perhaps the greatest sonnet ever written. It is true that "the eyes of the soul" are blinded by a surfeit of worldly "goods." "I went to the Lake District" (England), said John Burroughs, "to see what kind of a country could produce a Wordsworth." Of course he found simple houses, simple people, barren moors, heather-clad mountains, wild flowers, calm lakes, plain, rugged simplicity.

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 wreathed horn.


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