O joy! that in our embers (from Ode. Intimations of Immortality)

by William Wordsworth


Original Language English

          O joy! that in our embers
          Is something that doth live,
          That nature yet remembers
          What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest--
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:--
          Not for these I raise
          The song of thanks and praise;
     But for those obstinate questionings
     Of sense and outward things,
     Fallings from us, vanishings;
     Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised:
          But for those first affections,
          Those shadowy recollections,
     Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
     Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
          To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
          Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
          Hence in a season of calm weather
          Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
          Which brought us hither,
          Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

-- from Complete Poetical Works, by William Wordsworth

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O joy! that in our