No Reason for it: Wordsworth Again

Other than the fact that I thought it a profoundly lovely moment in the poem:

from The Prelude: Book II
William Wordsworth

When summer came,
Our pastime was, on bright half-holidays,
To sweep, along the plain of Windermere
With rival oars; and the selected bourne
Was now an Island musical with birds
That sang and ceased not; now a Sister Isle
Beneath the oaks' umbrageous covert, sown
With lilies of the valley like a field;
And now a third small Island, where survived
In solitude the ruins of a shrine
Once to Our Lady dedicate, and served
Daily with chaunted rites.

To refer to the lake as "the plain of Windermere" is just enough off that it makes for a profoundly stirring image (pardon the pun).  One can see the rowboats moving across the silvered water, and stopping here and there around the lake at little islands encased in trees: "Beneath the oaks' umbrageous covert."  Oh, how I wish that modern speech would allow me use of a word as delicate, as lovely, and as perfect as "umbrageous."

And a bit later another lovely bit:

Oh, ye rocks and streams,
And that still spirit shed from evening air!
Even in this joyous time I sometimes felt
Your presence, when with slackened step we breathed
Along the sides of the steep hills, or when
Lighted by gleams of moonlight from the sea
We beat with thundering hoofs the level sand.

Again, no reason, except to say that when we choose through prejudice, ignorance, or past bad experience to stay away from one so long acclaimed and loved, we deprive ourselves of some loveliness, some measure of beauty that cannot be found elsewhere because it dwells only here, with this one poet in this small space.  Oh, how I regret the many that I have not given proper chance to--those who, assigned in college classes, I raced through to be finished with the assignment.  What I missed out on by not giving them proper regard.  But, not everyone can appreciate everything at the same time--and it sometimes takes a while for the wisdom or insight of the poet to grow on one.


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