Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth
A word about the poet .. William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was an ardent lover of Nature. All his life, he remained an avid admirer of the myriad ways Nature unfolds her beauty. He used to go on long walks to leisurely see the woods, plants, flowers and the birds. From these small innocuous things, he drew great pleasure and happiness. He believed that the invigorating value of Nature for a tired, restless mind was invaluable. Almost all his poems are written in simple words, so that the common folks could understand them and appreciate the value of Nature as a soothing balm for the human mind jarred by worldly tensions.
The poem …
First and second stanza .. I heard a thousand ……..to the mind
To her fair works …… made of man
Meaning .. The poet sat relaxed under a tree hearing the many sounds of Nature like the chirping of birds, rustling of leaves etc. His mind enjoys a typical bliss that rekindles noble thoughts in him. But, in the next moment, he thinks of the many awful things that besmirch the world – the greed, jealousy, feuds, acrimony, revenge etc. He wonders why, with access to such benign Nature, and its soothing power, people indulge in unsavoury and toxic thoughts and actions. He bemoans the fact that people choose to ignore the pervasive emollient influence of Nature, people fall prey to evil tendencies.
Third and fourth stanza ..
Through primrose ……. It breathes
The birds around ……thrill of pleasure
Meaning … The poet feasts his eyes with the beautiful yellowish primrose tufts and the blue periwinkle flowers that blossom in early spring. He is bewitched at their sight, their freshness, innocence and tenderness. He feels that these pristine gifts of Nature must grow and thrive in pure and fresh air, unsullied by any pollutant.
The poet looks at the birds jumping from one branch to another. They look so innocent, and benign. They cause no harm to anyone. Instead, they add a sense of intrigue and bewilderment to the poet’s mind. He can’t figure out what is there in their mind, but every little hop they make fills the poet’s mind with great pleasure.
Fifth and sixth stanza …
The budding twigs spread ….. … pleasure there
If this belief …… made of man
Meaning .. The trees begin to bear new leaves. Tender twigs emerge out of the branches, and tiny leaves appear on them. It’s such a pleasant and refreshing sight. It fills the onlooker’s mind with hope, bliss, and fulfillment. The poet is overwhelmed with happiness. He wishes that the newly emerging leaves spend their lives on the tree with happiness. In other words, the poet’s mind is gripped by a desire for universal well-being.
The poet clearly sees the benign hand of Heaven behind all these tender and beautiful creations of Nature. He feels that the God had wanted the world to be equally pure, blissful, and kind. However, the hard realities shatter him. When he sees the endless strife, discord, exploitation all around unleashed by man, he relapses into doom and despair. He is exasperated and broken to see the sullied world around him.