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; (1).
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2).
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;.
Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea;.
Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn.
(1) Brought up in an outdated religion. .
(2) Meadow. .
(3) Greek sea god capable of taking many shapes. .
(4) Another sea god, often depicted as trumpeting on a shell.
Angrily, the speaker accuses the modern age of having lost its connection to nature and to everything meaningful: "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!" He says that even when the sea "bares her bosom to the moon" and the winds howl, humanity is still out of tune, and looks on uncaringly at the spectacle of the storm. The speaker wishes that he were a pagan raised according to a different vision of the world, so that, "standing on this pleasant lea," he might see images of ancient gods rising from the waves, a sight that would cheer him greatly. He imagines "Proteus rising from the sea," and Triton "blowing his wreathed horn." (Sparknotes.com, 2003).
This poem consists of:.
• Fourteen lines.
• Written in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet.
• The octave follows a rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA.
• The sestet follows a rhyme scheme of CDCDCD.
• The octave proposes a question or an idea that the sestet answers, comments upon, or criticizes.
The modern men are forfeiting their souls by being insensitive to the richness of Nature.