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Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

by William Wordsworth

Sleep

Symbol Analysis

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.

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