Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty . . .
-- Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,
September 3, 1802
Richard Matlak places the initial reaction to Poems in its historical context and explains the sea change in critical and popular opinion about these poems. The extensive historical documents place the poems in the context of Wordsworth’s life, contemporary politics, and the literary world of the early nineteenth century.