The early nineteenth century was a time of rapid change and industrialization, but Like his contemporaries, Blackened Coleridge, Wordsmith was often dismayed by what he saw and he sought lace in the grandeur and beauty of nature. Wordsmith offered not just a beautiful picture of nature but also illustrated the healing power of nature the spirit of man. As a poet of Nature, Wordsmith stands supreme. He Is a worshipper of Nature, Nature’s devotee or high-priest.
His love of Nature was probably truer, and tendered, than that of any other English poet, before or since. Nature comes to occupy In his poem a separate or Independent status and Is not treated In a casual or passing manner as by poets before him. Wordsmith had a full-fledged philosophy, a new ND original view of Nature. Three points in his creed of Nature may be noted: (a) He conceived of Nature as a living Personality. He believed that there is a divine spirit pervading all the objects of Nature.
This belief in a divine spirit pervading all the objects of Nature may be termed as mystical Pantheism and is fully expressed in Tinder Abbey and in several passages in Book II of the Prelude. (b) Wordsmith believed that the company of Nature gives Joy to the human heart and he looked upon Nature as exercising a healing Influence on sorrow-stricken hearts. C) Above all, Wordsmith emphasized the moral influence of Nature. He spiritualists Nature and regarded her as a great moral teacher, as the best mother, guardian and nurse of man, and as an elevating influence.
He believed that between man and Nature there is mutual consciousness, spiritual communion or ‘mystic intercourse’. He initiates his readers into the secret of the soul’s communion with Nature. According to him, human beings who grow up in the lap of Nature are perfect in every respect. Wordsmith believed that we can learn more of man and of moral evil and good from Nature than from all the philosophies. In his eyes, “Nature Is a teacher whose wisdom we can learn, and without which any human life Is vain and Incomplete. He believed In the education of man by Nature. In this he was somewhat Influenced by Rousseau. This inter-relation of Nature and man is very important in considering Development of His Love for Nature Wordsmith’s childhood had been spent in Nature’s lap. A nurse both stern and kindly, she had planted seeds of sympathy and under-standing in that growing mind. Natural scenes like the grassy Deterrent river bank or the monster shape of the night- horded mountain played a “needful part” in the development of his mind.
In The Prelude, he records dozens of these natural scenes, not for themselves but for what his mind could learn through. Nature was “both law and impulse”; and in earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Wordsmith was conscious of a spirit which kindled and restrained. In a variety of exciting ways, which he did not understand, Nature intruded upon his escapades and pastimes, even when he was indoors, speaking “memorable things”. He had not sought her; neither was he intellectually aware of her presence.
She riveted his attention by stirring up sensations of fear or Joy which were “organic”, affecting him bodily as well as emotionally. With time the sensations were fixed indelibly in his memory. All the instances in Book I of The Prelude show a kind of primitive animism at work”; the emotions and psychological disturbances affect external scenes in such a way that Nature seems to nurture “by beauty and by fear”. In Tinder Abbey, Wordsmith traces the development of his love for Nature. In his boyhood Nature was simply a playground for him.
At the second stage he began to love and seek Nature but he was attracted purely by its sensuous or aesthetic appeal. Finally his love for Nature acquired a spiritual and intellectual character, and he realized Nature’s role as a teacher and educator. Nature Descriptions Wordsmith is sensitive to every subtle change in the world about him. He can give delicate and subtle expression to the sheer sensuous delight of the world of Nature. He can feel the elemental Joy of Spring: It was an April morning, fresh and clear The rivulet, delighting in its strength,
Ran with a young man’s speed, and yet the voice Of waters which the river had supplied Was softened down into a vernal tone. He can take an equally keen pleasure in the tranquil lake: The calm And dead still water lay upon my mind Even with a weight of pleasure A brief study of his pictures of Nature reveals his peculiar power in actualities sound and its converse, silence. Being the poet of the ear and of the eye, he is exquisitely felicitous. No other poet could have written: A voice so thrilling newer was heard In springtime from the cuckoo-bird, Among the farthest Hebrides.
Unlike most descriptive poets who are satisfied if they achieve a static pictorial effect, Wordsmith can direct his eye and ear and touch to conveying a sense of the energy and movement behind the workings of the natural world. “Goings on” was a favorite word he applied to Nature. But he is not interested in mere Nature description. Wordsmith records his own feelings with reference to the objects which stimulate him and call forth the description. His unique apprehension of Nature was determined by his peculiar sense-endowment.
His eye was at once far-reaching and penetrating. He looked through the visible scene to what he calls its “ideal truth”. He pored over objects till he fastened their images on his brain and brooded on these in memory till they acquired the liveliness of dreams. He had a keen ear too for all natural sounds, the calls of beasts and birds, and the sounds of winds and waters; and he composed thousands of lines wandering by the side of a stream. But he was not richly endowed in the less intellectual senses of touch, taste and temperature. William Wordsmith and S. T.
Coleridge revere nature and know they are essential to TTS beauty, because they must appreciate it for the beauty to exist. However, they are still separate from it; they are human. These two poets use a technique that departs completely from the neoclassical tradition where the emphasis was placed on order and balance and reasoned thoughts, even in form. Coleridge and Wordsmith take the liberty to write in blank verse, often without punctuation between lines, underlining the Romantic ideal of emotion. Expression of emotion does not necessarily end at the last syllable of a heroic couplet, but Reason invariably did.