Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of immortality from recollections of early childhood – for my mother


What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

And oh ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Think not of any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that do gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.


Judith Lee Gleeson-White, 27 June 1928-8 February 2015



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10 Responses to Wordsworth’s Ode: Intimations of immortality from recollections of early childhood – for my mother

  1. gabynaher says:

    So beautiful, Jane. I wonder whether they’re flowers from your mother’s garden.

  2. Jane, You have honoured your mother most nobly. Bless her. Chester

  3. Jane Stanham says:

    beautiful words for a beautiful person

  4. Sara Dowse says:

    Yes, Jane. The loss of a mother is very hard; but then, she is never lost. Thank you for sharing and keep well.

  5. Blessings of the deepest kind to you Jane. Thank you for this beautiful poem. And may your cherished memories with your mother soothe you and bathe you in her loving light. I know she was an incredibly wonderful person as she helped to create who you are and I am so thank ful to know you. Feb 8th is an important day in my family’s chronology, an now more so. With love, Erica

  6. Thank you Erica. How special that 8 February is a significant day for your family too. xx

  7. Pingback: Fishermen – and the Adelaide Writers’ Week 2015 | bookish girl

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