Lines Written in Early Spring
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.
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.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
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.
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.
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?
The poem takes the form of a rhyming ballad of several quatrains of iambic tetrameter with the deliberate elimination of a foot at the end of each stanza for emphasis. The message here rings true as much today as it must have in the early days of the Industrial Age--that the members of the human race have, for the most part, allowed themselves to be transformed into a group of mindless automatons or meaningless fame and fortune chasers, all the while missing out on experiencing the beauty of nature and the chance to live quiet, peaceful, meaningful lives in tune with it.