The approach to Waterloo Station 12 June 2018
My hastily snapped photo doesn’t do this wonderful view of the City of London justice, does it? I was travelling in on a beautiful summer’s morning, and as always, was reduced to a quiet wonder by the breathtaking sight of the skyline.
Strangely, I’m not contemporary architecture’s Number One fan.. But there is something about the line, the sheer scale and sense of space that speaks to me. Though tempered now by the memory of the sad events of March 2017, as the train makes the slow approach into Waterloo, Wordsworth’s work Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802, always comes to my mind. The view he gazed upon would have been so different to what we see now. Yet over 200 years later, there’s a timeless beauty that speaks across the centuries.
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare.
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!