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(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

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A Character

I marvel how Nature could ever find space
For so many strange contrasts in one human face:
There's thought and no thought, and there's paleness and bloom
And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.

There's weakness, and strength both redundant and vain;
Such strength as, if ever affliction and pain
Could pierce through a temper that's soft to disease,
Would be rational peace--a philosopher's ease.

There's indifference, alike when he fails or succeeds,
And attention full ten times as much as there needs;
Pride where there's no envy, there's so much of joy;
And mildness, and spirit both forward and coy.

There's freedom, and sometimes a diffident stare
Of shame scarcely seeming to know that she's there,
There's virtue, the title it surely may claim,
Yet wants heaven knows what to be worthy the name.

This picture from nature may seem to depart,
Yet the Man would at once run away with your heart;
And I for five centuries right gladly would be
Such an odd such a kind happy creature as he.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: strength, nature, freedom, pride, sometimes, happy, peace, joy, heaven, pain, heart, running

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Comments about this poem (A Poet's Epitaph by William Wordsworth )

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  • * Sunprincess * (11/12/2013 7:16:00 PM)

    a man like this would run away with your heart... that's a good one :)

    13 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Mohamad Abbas (10/25/2013 9:30:00 AM)

    Favorite lines: This picture from nature may seem to depart,
    Yet the Man would at once run away with your heart;
    And I for five centuries right gladly would be
    Such an odd such a kind happy creature as he

    Natures character in a nutshell. I think the title says it all!
    I sure want to read more :)

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed (6/22/2013 11:12:00 PM)

    See the first stanza worth of dying and like this all great thought one point contains thousands of point with nature hues

  • Walterrean Salley (3/30/2013 10:36:00 PM)

    An amazingly great poem. There may be many sides (good and bad) to one's character, which can change momentarily, but, ultimately, such doesn't change the nature of the person. The essence of the person remains untouched, and he (or she) is what he is. The Mr. Wordsworth is among my favorites.

  • Kumi Nicholas (1/23/2013 10:24:00 AM)

    A very great poem.....#

  • Ludicrous Angel (2/6/2012 6:13:00 AM)

    good Lord in Heaven! ! ! of alli've read..this one tops it all....marvelous..simply astounding! !

  • Okaba Mark (1/23/2012 11:04:00 AM)

    A poet! A poet! A real poet!
    Wordsworth, a poet unmarched,
    O hw thy words speaks of nature itself!
    Can I eva b lyk thee rising frm this me tiny self! ?

  • Paul Brookes (1/23/2012 5:13:00 AM)

    A definite self portrait done with humor and truth Beautifully expressed. 10+

  • Manonton Dalan (1/23/2012 3:52:00 AM)

    great! yin yang of nature md

  • Herman Chiu (1/23/2010 8:08:00 PM)

    The poem is as well thought out and knowing as the Mona Lisa.
    A complexion is a complex result of simple parts, or differing emotions.
    It is truly amazing, and a 'marvel [of] nature'.

Read all 18 comments »

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