I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: –
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed – and gazed – but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.
What an opening line! ‘I wander’d lonely as a cloud’ alone is a great piece of poetry, never mind the rest.
I love this poem for many reasons. It reminds me of summer, going on long walks and seeing beautiful parts of nature that you did not expect to find. ‘When all at once I saw a crowd,/A host of golden daffodils’. The language and tone is just so joyful and innocent in its view of something so natural.
The 2nd stanza is when the magic of the moment really happens. Anything compared to stars seems to have this fantastic wonder to them. ‘And twinkle on the milky way,’ go the daffodils, giving them this eternal beauty, just like the stars that always shine above us. ‘They stretch’d in never-ending line,’ what a picture this puts in your head of a field of bright yellow.
Then finally the 4th stanza is where the poem, for me, takes a wonderful turn and brings us the message. The narrator saw this image and at first had ‘little thought’, but then, when by himself, ‘They flash upon that inward eye/Which is the bliss of solitude;’. It is a story of the innocence returning to older eyes, reminding us of a time that we often go back to in our heads to calm us in troubled, anxious moments. Our little moment of heaven that we perhaps did not realise at the time was so wonderful, but is something we can now appreciate and hold onto until we die.
We all have somewhere, some time, some memory we like to return to, and for the narrator, it is the field he saw that day; ‘my heart with pleasure fills/And dances with the daffodils.’
Thanks For Reading
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