Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Of Power in Sound

Wordsworth, The Prelude Book II.(1850 text):

         for I would walk alone,
         Under the quiet stars, and at that time
         Have felt whate'er there is of power in sound
         To breathe an elevated mood, by form
         Or image unprofaned; and I would stand,
         If the night blackened with a coming storm,
         Beneath some rock, listening to notes that are
         The ghostly language of the ancient earth,
         Or make their dim abode in distant winds.
         Thence did I drink the visionary power;
         And deem not profitless those fleeting moods
         Of shadowy exultation: not for this,
         That they are kindred to our purer mind
         And intellectual life; but that the soul,
         Remembering how she felt, but what she felt
         Remembering not, retains an obscure sense
         Of possible sublimity, whereto
         With growing faculties she doth aspire,
         With faculties still growing, feeling still                320
         That whatsoever point they gain, they yet
         Have something to pursue.

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