William Gladstone

Wordsworth’s Last Stand

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D, recorded on the 7th of May 2018 on Red Kite Radio.

In 1844 a railway line, running from Kendal to Windermere in the Lake District, was proposed. Part of the line was intended to run into the heart of the Lakes, an area loved by the poet William Wordsworth. Wordsworth was outraged by the new proposal and used his privilege as Poet Laureate to protest to then Prime Minister, William Gladstone. Today’s poem, On The Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway, was written by Wordsworth as part of the correspondence to Gladstone and the media.

In this episode of Poetic Beats, Davy D reads and discusses the poem and some of the related issues around Wordsworth’s protest. If you have difficulty listening to the show a text version of the poem is included after the sound bar.

To hear this recording of Poetic Beats please press the arrow to the left of the sound bar below.

 

 

On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway

 

Is then no nook of English ground secure

From rash assault?  Schemes of retirement sown

In youth, and mid the busy world kept pure

As when their earliest flowers of hope were blown,

Must perish;—­how can they this blight endure?

And must he too the ruthless change bemoan

Who scorns a false utilitarian lure

Mid his paternal fields at random thrown?

Baffle the threat, bright Scene, from Orrest-head

Given to the pausing traveller’s rapturous glance:

Plead for thy peace, thou beautiful romance

Of nature; and, if human hearts be dead,

Speak, passing winds; ye torrents, with your strong

And constant voice, protest against the wrong.

 

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.