Skip main navigation

£199.99 £139.99 for one year of Unlimited learning. Offer ends on 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply

Find out more

‘Old Man Travelling’: Reading

Recital of William Wordsworth's ‘Old Man Travelling’ from Lyrical Ballads.
Old Man Travelling.
The little hedge-row birds that peck along the road, regard him not. He travels on, and in his face, his step, his gait, is one expression; every limb, his look and bending figure, all bespeak a man who does not move with pain, but moves with thought–
He is insensibly subdued to settled quiet: he is one by whom all effort seems forgotten, one to whom long patience has such mild composure given, that patience now doth seem a thing, of which he hath no need. He is by nature led to peace so perfect, that the young behold with envy, what the old man hardly feels. –I asked him whither he was bound, and what the object of his journey. He replied “Sir! I am going many miles to take a last leave of my son, a mariner, who from a sea-fight has been brought to Falmouth, and there is dying in an hospital.”

In the final Steps this week, we are going to examine another poem from Lyrical Ballads, ‘Old Man Travelling’.

You can begin by listening to the poem.

In the next steps, we are going to ask you some specific questions about ‘Old Man Travelling’ and then Professor Sally Bushell will explain what we can learn from a study of the poem’s manuscript.

You will even get the chance to create your own Wordsworth manuscript!

This article is from the free online

William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education