Symbols of Eternity

This is one of the passages from Wordsworth’s The Prelude that I have been thinking of. (What was I saying about free wifi? Thank you Google!) He is on his walking tour of Europe and at this moment is passing from the Swiss Alps into Italy via the Simplon Pass.

-Brook and road
Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass,
And with them did we journey several hours
At a slow step. The immeasurable height
Of woods decaying, never to be decayed,
The stationary blasts of waterfalls,
And in the narrow rent, at every turn,
Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn,
The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky,
The rocks that muttered close upon our ears,
Black drizzling crags that spake by the wayside
As if a voice were in them, the sick sight
And giddy prospect of the raving stream,
The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens,
Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light–
Were all like workings of one mind, the features
Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,
Characters of the great Apocalypse,
The types and symbols of Eternity,
Of first and last, and midst, and without end.

There is still a better description of the sublime, and I think it is from the same book of The Prelude — I will find it!

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One Response to Symbols of Eternity

  1. Ann DiBernardo says:

    Safe trip to you, Beth and your family. You missed a classic nor’easter by one day!

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