Lines Written in Early Spring
William Wordsworth (1798)
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:–
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
I love the poem above. Although it has a melancholy tone I believe it uncovers a true reflection of man, when observing nature or when reflecting upon nature; humans will always be unhappy despite the infinite reasons to be happy.
I think the reason we struggle with this sense of dissatisfaction is because we have an innate knowledge that we were created with a desire that this world cannot satisfy. Wordsworth compares man to nature, and while we are a part of creation and made from the same ‘stuff’ of the earth we are not like nature and can not honestly be compared to a thing. Wordsworth has the perception to see the perfection in nature compared to the imperfection and dissatisfaction in man. I would agree with his assumptions but not concluded that we can take example from nature because we were made different from nature and nature’s job is perfected in pointing us to these assumptions.