Tuesday, April 5, 2011
One of my favorite poems that always makes me smile is Daffodils by William Wordsworth (1770-1850). It is a lyrical poem in which Wordsworth compares himself to a lonely cloud and personifies the field of golden daffodils he sees below as a crowd of joyful dancers. The poem shows the author's love and appreciation of the beauty of nature.
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.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
But another lesser known poem To Daffodils by Robert Herrick is equally stirring of the emotions but in a different way. While Wordsworth evokes feelings of joy, Herrick has a note of melancholy/sadness in his poem which arises out of the realization that beauty is not going to stay forever. He compares the fast dying daffodils to the shortness of human life.
Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Until the hasting day
But to the even-song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
by Robert Herrick