The World

Is Too Much with Us

The World

The Poem

The World

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

The Poet

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was with Samuel Coleridge with whom he wrote Lyrical Ballads (1798), often considered to have launched the English Romantic movement. Wordsworth's contributions include “Tintern Abbey.” His poetry is perhaps most original in its vision of the relation between man and the natural world, a vision that culminated in the metaphor of nature as emblematic of the mind of God. Wordsworth wrote The World in 1802.

The Meaning


Wordsworth wanted to reflect his philosophy that humanity must get in touch with nature in order to progress spiritually.