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William Brighty Rands (1823-1882)

Great, Wide, Beautiful, Wonderful World


              1Great, wide, beautiful, wonderful World,
              2With the wonderful water round you curled,
              3And the wonderful grass upon your breast--
              4World, you are beautifully drest.

              5The wonderful air is over me,
              6And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree,
              7It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
              8And talks to itself on the tops of the hills.

              9You friendly Earth! how far do you go,
            10With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
            11With cities and gardens, and cliffs, and isles,
            12And people upon you for thousands of miles?

            13Ah, you are so great, and I am so small,
            14I tremble to think of you, World, at all;
            15And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
            16A whisper inside me seemed to say,
            17"You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot:
            18You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: W. B. Rand, Lilliput Lyrics, ed. R. Brimley Johnson (London: John Lane, the Bodley Head, 1899): 101-02. del F Fisher Rare Book Library.
First publication date: December 1868
Publication date note: Good Words for the Young (Dec. 1868), by "Matthew Browne."
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/30

Form: quatrains and septet in couplets


Other poems by William Brighty Rands