Summary of Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth

Summary of Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth


Summary of Lines Written in Early Spring

The poem consists of 6 stanzas. Each of these stanzas is again made up of 4 lines. Hence, the entire poem consists of 24 lines in total. This poem is written in the first person. Hence it is safe to assume that the speaker of the poem is the poet himself.

1st Stanza:

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.

In this stanza, the poet describes how he was sitting in a relaxed fashion in a wood one day, and was hearing the songs of many birds blended together. He was in a nostalgic mood. He also says that such a mood often leads you to shift from happy thought to sad ones, perhaps because you know that too much happiness cannot be real.

2nd Stanza:

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.

In this stanza, the poet talks about the eternal bond between man and nature. He gives “Nature” the agency in forming this bond.  He says that it is because of Nature that his human soul is fundamentally linked with all the beautiful aspects of the physical world. However, man has no such bond with the other of his kind. What a man can do to another man (that is, hurt or kill him) is shocking to the poet, and he is saddened at the thought of it.

3rd Stanza:

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;

And ’tis my faith that every flower

Enjoys the air it breathes.

In this stanza, the poet describes how the flowers of the primrose and periwinkle plants were growing in the wood in which he was sitting. In fact, the periwinkle flowers had become arranged in the shape of a ring. The poet firmly believes that every flower is thankful to be alive and breathing, unlike man who takes his life for granted and engages in activities that the poet condemns.

4th Stanza:

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.

In this stanza, the poet describes how all the birds in the wood were playing with each other, and hopping about in joy. The poet cannot read their thoughts, but he is sure that they love every single move they make with their limbs. In saying all this, the poet is implying that man does not experience the same kind of contentment in his life.

5th Stanza:

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.

In this stanza, the poet describes how even the twigs of plants delight in the coming of the breeze, and in fact they spread themselves out in the shape of an open fan to fully experience the cooling sensation of the breeze. The poet cannot help but think that there is pleasure in this movement of the twigs.

6th Stanza:

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?

In this stanza, the poet tries to examine why he believes that all the creatures of the earth except human beings are grateful for their lives as a part of Nature. He thinks that his faith is sent to him from heaven itself, and that everything that happens in the world is planned meticulously by Nature. In that case, it is grievous to think of the way men treat each other.