The world is too much with us; late and soon,William Wordsworth observed a world around him--a world that, in 1804 when this was penned, included Napoleonic wars in Europe, Lewis and Clark exploring the Louisiana Purchase in the United States, and his homeland Britain securing power over the world's sea trade--that seemed to have lost its bearings.
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!
The Industrial Revolution seemed to rob people of their souls. Wordsworth looks for restoration in Nature:
The 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;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
Belief in even silly myths, which must be how he viewed faith in Christ, seems to give greater satisfaction and joy than the world (not Nature) could offer.
The pantheistic impulses of the Romantic period are mostly passe today, but the deep loss that Wordsworth feels still exists today. We've given our hearts away! The things that should move us fail to do so.
May we find the satisfaction of our deepest longings not in Nature, but in the Creator, and see that there is a Creed that cannot be outworn, but perfectly describes reality in every age.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.