A Character

 

 

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.

 

-William Wordsworth

 

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “A Character

  1. HI: I am not going to look up this poem in some anthology but I bet that the line:
    “And attention full ten times as much as there needs; ”
    should read “And attention full ten times as much as THEIR needs; ”
    a typo happened somewhere – the poem is beautiful nevertheless.

  2. There’s love that is lurking
    But on the flip
    There’s contempt that is showing
    In the curl of the lip.

    Wistfulness resides
    In a faraway look
    There’s a hardness that bides
    In that expression of a crook.

    There’s patience , profound
    And a wisdom that’s deep
    But the eyes do not lie
    When silently they weep

    Yes we’re complex as coils
    But also straight lines
    There’s a bit of the devil
    And sparks of the divine.

  3. […] Personal Concerns – an Indian in grad school at the University of Delhi. At least, that is his pretext and preoccupation, haha. In real life, I suppose he is really a philosopher and a poet. He writes beautifully about the old and the new, the simple and the complex and the olden times and the modern world. He is a linguist, a rare breed. He is an academic guy, a very articulate writer and dang, he sounds thoughtful.  He sounds like a thinking, thoughtful guy. […]

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