For the speaker, a large part of the city's charm early in the morning is the fact that this huge metropolis – a hub of energy and activity – lies completely still. Most people are still literally asleep, so the city seems metaphorically asleep.
- Line 13: This line contains a simile that compares the inactivity of the houses to the sleeping people within them. It would have been a metaphor if Wordsworth had written, "the very houses are asleep."
- Line 14: Is the city, with its energetic "heart," also being compared to a sleeping person? We think so, because the heart is "lying still," like a person in bed.