Monday, June 16, 2014

Poem the Day: "Three years she grew" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month

The Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for June 16, 2014 is  "Three years she grew" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month.  Information about the Songs of Eretz Poet of the Month feature as well as a biographical essay about William Wordsworth may be found here:

Three years she grew
William Wordsworth

Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

"The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

"And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."

Thus Nature spake—The work was done—
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.

This is another of Wordsworth's melancholy, Poe-like "Lucy" poems.  This one departs from Wordsworth's usual standard ballad rhyme and rhythm scheme.  It is arranged in sestets instead of quatrains, and instead of rhyming every other line, has a rhyme scheme of aabccb, ddeffe &c.

This poem also differs from the other Lucy poems in its POV.  Here we see Nature itself in the speaker's seat, until the very end when the poet, presumably Wordsworth, takes over in the last stanza in a kind of epilogue.  The theme, of a special loved one becoming one with nature and being perceived as being everywhere by the survivor, is one that we have seen many times in the Review this month.

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