Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805) Book Seventh, 696-741

O, blank confusion, and a type not false
Of what the mighty city is itself
To all, except a straggler here and there—
To the whole swarm of its inhabitants—
An undistinguishable world to men,
The slaves unrespited of low pursuits,
Living amid the same perpetual flow
Of trivial objects, melted and reduced
To one identity by differences
That have no law, no meaning, and no end—
Oppression under which even highest minds
Must labour, whence the strongest are not free.
But though the picture weary out the eye,
By nature an unmanageable sight,
It is not wholly so to him who looks
In steadiness, who hath among least things
An under-sense of greatest, sees the parts
As parts, but with a feeling of the whole.
This, of all acquisitions first, awaits
On sundry and most widely different modes
Of education—nor with least delight
On that through which I passed. Attention comes,
And comprehensiveness and memory,
From early converse with the works of God
Among all regions, chiefly where appear
Most obviously simplicity and power.
By influence habitual to the mind
The mountain’s outline and its steady form
Gives a pure grandeur, and its presence shapes
The measure and the prospect of the soul
To majesty: such virtue have the forms
Perennial of the ancient hills—nor less
The changeful language of their countenances
Gives movement to the thoughts, and multitude,
With order and relation. This (if still,
As hitherto, with freedom I may speak,
And the same perfect openness of mind,
Not violating any just restraint,
As I would hope, of real modesty),
This did I feel in that vast receptacle.
The spirit of Nature was upon me here,
The soul of beauty and enduring life
Was present as a habit, and diffused—
Through meagre lines and colours, and the press
Of self-destroying, transitory things—
Composure and ennobling Harmony.

Wordsworth, The Prelude: 1799, 1805, 1850 (Norton Critical Editions)