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Featured Poem: ‘Climbing Snowdon’ from Book 13, The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Written by Martin Gallagher, 26th April 2021

Today's Featured Poem is brought to us by Shared Reading Partnerships Lead, Michael Prior - ‘Climbing Snowdon’ from Book 13, The Prelude by William Wordsworth.

Celebrating our theme of Walking The Earth, today's Featured Poem coincides with the launch of The Reader Bookshelf, an annual programme of carefully curated literature to support all of our reading-based work and the wider Reading Revolution. Find out more about The Reader Bookshelf here.


‘Climbing Snowdon’ from Book 13, The Prelude

This small adventure - for even such it seemed

In that wild place and at the dead of night-

Being over and forgotten, on we wound

In silence as before. With forehead bent

Earthward, as if in opposition set

Against an enemy, I panted up

With eager pace, and no less eager thoughts.

Thus might we wear perhaps an hour away,

Ascending at loose distance each from each,

And I, as chanced, the foremost of the band -

When at my feet the ground appeared to brighten,

And with a step or two seemed brighter still;

Nor had I time to ask the cause of this,

For instantly a light upon the turf

Fell like a flash: I looked about, and lo,

The moon stood naked in the heavens, at height

Immense above my head, and on the shore

I found myself of a huge sea of mist,

Which meek and silent rested at my feet.

A hundred hills their dusky backs upheaved

All over this still ocean, and beyond,

Far, far beyond, the vapours shot themselves

In headlands, tongues and promontory shapes,

Into the sea, the real sea, that seemed

To dwindle and give up its majesty,

Usurped upon as far as sight could reach.

Meanwhile, the moon looked down upon this show

In single glory, and we stood, the mist

Touching our very feet; and from the shore

At distance not the third part of a mile

Was a blue chasm, a fracture in the vapour,

A deep and gloomy breathing-space, through which

Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams

Innumerable, roaring with one voice.

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