Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Mutability

From low to high doth dissolution climb,
And sink from high to low, along a scale
Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
A musical but melancholy chime,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whitened hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

Credit


This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem


“Mutability” was published in Ecclesiastical Sketches (Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1822). 

Author


William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth, who rallied for "common speech" within poems and argued against the poetic biases of the period, wrote some of the most influential poetry in Western literature, including his most famous work, The Prelude, which is often considered to be the crowning achievement of English romanticism.

Date Published: 2016-08-20

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/mutability-0