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By the Sea by William Wordsworth


"By the Sea" is a poem written by William Wordsworth. This poem can be seen as somewhat Atheist or at the very least Deist. Wordsworth talks about the beauty of the sea and how nature is as divine as God, but "God being with thee when we know it not". Is he saying that God doesn't exist but since the sea does, that it is more divine?

"By the Sea" is written as four stanzas with the first two having four lines and the last two having only three. The poem is not written in iambic-pentameter, but it has around ten syllables in every line (some having eleven or twelve). The poem is written in the rhyme scheme ABBA in the first two stanzas and ABC (unrhymed) in the final two stanzas.


By the Sea

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven is on the sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder -everlastingly.

Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:

Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,
And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

Next: The Green Linnet
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