In 1814 Wordsworth published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part work The Recluse, even though he had not completed the first part or the third part, and never did. He did, however, write a poetic Prospectus to "The Recluse" in which he laid out the structure and intention of the whole work. The Prospectus contains some of Wordsworth's most famous lines on the relation between the human mind and nature:
- My voice proclaims
- How exquisitely the individual Mind
- (And the progressive powers perhaps no less
- Of the whole species) to the external World
- Is fitted:—and how exquisitely, too,
- Theme this but little heard of among Men,
- The external World is fitted to the Mind.
Some modern critics suggest that there was a decline in his work, beginning around the mid-1810s, perhaps because most of the concerns that characterised his early poems (loss, death, endurance, separation and abandonment) has been resolved in his writings and his life. By 1820 he was enjoying considerable success accompanying a reversal in the contemporary critical opinion of his earlier works.
Following the death of his friend the painter William Green in 1823, Wordsworth also mended his relations with Coleridge. The two were fully reconciled by 1828, when they toured the Rhineland together. Dorothy suffered from a severe illness in 1829 that rendered her an invalid for the remainder of her life.