Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

1 Earth has not anything to show more fair:
2 Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
3 A sight so touching in its majesty:
4 This City now doth, like a garment, wear
5 The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
6 Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
7 Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
8 All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
9 Never did sun more beautifully steep
10 In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
11 Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
12 The river glideth at his own sweet will:
13 Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
14 And all that mighty heart is lying still!


Dorothy Wordsworth in her Journal July 31, 1802, described the scene as she and her brother left London, early in the morning, for their month-long visit to Calais: "It was a beautiful morning. The city, St. Paul's, with the river, and a multitude of little boats, made a most beautiful sight as we crossed Westminster Bridge. The houses were not overhung by their cloud of smoke, and they were spread out endlessly, yet the sun shone so brightly, with such a fierce light; that there was something like the purity of one of nature's own grand spectacles." In the notes Wordsworth dictated to Isabella Fenwick, he says the poem was composed “on the roof of a coach on my way to France”, during his visit to France in respite from war following the Peace of Amiens 1802.