Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking

The Tables Turned


Today is William Wordsworths birthday. He would have been 250 and probably enjoying the total peace in the Lakes.  I’m not usually a fan of poetry, I find it such a struggle to understand the intellectual ones.  I’d rather be outdoors enjoying the birdsong and mountains, like Wordsworth.  But today, this poem caught my attention, particularly as it refers to working from home and not being out in the woods-  “Books! tis a dull and endless strife; come hear the woodland linnet.”

Birdsong is filling the woods, fields and hills around here, the sound of traffic has almost entirely gone, the skies are clear and everything starting to turn that lovely light green of spring.  Photograph is of Eskdale in summer, but always a quiet spot with views up to Scafell.

So here’s the poem, enjoy.


Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;

Or surely you’ll grow double:

Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;

Why all this toil and trouble?


The sun above the mountain’s head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,

His first sweet evening yellow.


Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife:

Come, hear the woodland linnet,

How sweet his music! on my life,

There’s more of wisdom in it.


And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.


She has a world of ready wealth,

Our minds and hearts to bless—

Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,

Truth breathed by cheerfulness.


One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,

Of moral evil and of good,

Than all the sages can.


Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

Our meddling intellect

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:—

We murder to dissect.


Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.


William Wordsworth. 1798.

One comment on “The Tables Turned

  1. Bill W
    April 8, 2020

    Thx Tony …. apt and really enjoyed it!

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2020 by in Blog, Lake District, Out and About, Woodland Trust and tagged , , , , .
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