'"Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower,"' by William Wordsworth
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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 her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's 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 mold 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.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower: A Journey Through Life and Nature
William Wordsworth, one of the leading figures of the Romantic era in English literature, is known for his celebration of nature and his belief in the spiritual significance of the natural world. In his poem "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower," Wordsworth explores the interdependence between nature and human life, and the transformative power of nature on the human soul. Through his vivid imagery, pastoral settings, and use of personification, Wordsworth creates a beautiful and poignant picture of the cycle of life and the eternal connection between humanity and the natural world.
The Poem's Background
"Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower" is a part of the "Lucy" poems, a series of five poems written by Wordsworth in the memory of a young girl named Lucy. The identity of Lucy remains a mystery, but it is believed that she was an imaginary figure created by Wordsworth to represent the innocence and purity of childhood. The poem was first published in 1798 as a part of Lyrical Ballads, a joint publication by Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which is considered one of the most important works in the Romantic movement.
An Overview of the Poem
The poem is divided into three stanzas of eight lines each, and follows a simple ABABCC rhyming scheme. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, with four stressed syllables in each line, giving it a rhythmic and flowing quality. The poem is narrated in the third person, and tells the story of a young girl who grows up in the lap of nature and eventually becomes one with it.
A Detailed Analysis of the Poem
The First Stanza: Nature's Care
The first stanza of the poem sets the stage for the rest of the poem, and introduces the theme of nature's nurturing care for humanity. The poem begins with the lines:
Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Born and bred in a vernal bower,
The primrose banks her couch,
While woods and winds and waters,
Yet she was a solitary creature.
These lines describe the idyllic setting in which the young girl grows up, surrounded by the beauty and bounty of nature. The "vernal bower" represents the springtime, which is the time of growth and renewal in nature. The "primrose banks" represent the lush vegetation that surrounds the young girl, providing her with a comfortable bed of flowers to rest on.
The second half of the stanza introduces the idea that the young girl is solitary, despite being surrounded by the beauty of nature. This hints at the separation between humanity and nature, which is a recurring theme in Wordsworth's poetry. The line "Yet she was a solitary creature" suggests that the young girl is somehow different from the rest of nature, and is perhaps in need of something more than what nature can provide.
The Second Stanza: The Human Connection
The second stanza of the poem explores the transformative power of human connection, and the role that it plays in bridging the gap between humanity and nature. The stanza begins with the lines:
Two fairies guarded it,
Sweet Love and her sister, Joy;
They were its guardians,
And kept it from all annoy.
These lines introduce the idea that the young girl is not alone, but is guided and protected by the fairies of Love and Joy. Love and Joy represent the human emotions that connect us to others and to nature, and provide us with a sense of belonging and purpose. The fairies are described as "guardians" who protect the young girl from "all annoy," suggesting that they provide her with a sense of security and comfort.
The stanza goes on to describe the young girl's connection to the natural world:
The winged creatures of the sky
Circling round it, heard her cry,
And the larks sang as she died.
These lines suggest that the young girl has formed a deep connection with nature, which is reciprocated by the creatures of the sky. The fact that the larks sing as she dies suggests that the young girl has become one with nature, and that her death is not the end of her existence, but a transformation into a new form of life.
The Third Stanza: The Eternal Cycle
The final stanza of the poem celebrates the eternal cycle of life, and the idea that all living things are connected in a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. The stanza begins with the lines:
"And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me."
I saw her upon a nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
The beauty of the morning;
Fresh as the month of May,
And I wished to go,
Wherever she was going,
And to see the heaven that lies
Around us in our infancy.
These lines describe the speaker's realization that the young girl was not just a physical being, but a spiritual one as well. The speaker sees the beauty of the young girl, and wishes to follow her into the unknown, to see the heaven that lies around us in our infancy. This suggests that the young girl represents the purity and innocence of childhood, and that the speaker wishes to recapture that sense of wonder and awe that we often lose as we grow older.
The stanza ends with the lines:
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.
These lines celebrate the beauty and wonder of nature, and suggest that even though we may lose our sense of wonder and awe as we grow older, the beauty and glory of nature remain. The line "That there hath passed away a glory from the earth" suggests that the young girl's death has not diminished the beauty of nature, but has added to it, by becoming a part of the eternal cycle of life.
In "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower," Wordsworth creates a beautiful and poignant picture of the interdependence between humanity and nature, and the transformative power of nature on the human soul. Through his vivid imagery, pastoral settings, and use of personification, Wordsworth celebrates the eternal cycle of life, and the idea that all living things are connected in a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth. The poem reminds us of the beauty and wonder of nature, and the importance of human connection in bridging the gap between humanity and the natural world.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower: A Poetic Masterpiece by William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth, one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, is known for his love for nature and his ability to capture its essence in his poetry. His poem "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower" is a perfect example of his poetic genius. This poem, published in 1798, is a tribute to nature and its power to shape and transform human life.
The poem tells the story of a young girl who grows up in the lap of nature. She spends three years of her life in the company of the sun, the rain, and the wind. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each representing a year of the girl's life. The first stanza describes the girl's infancy, the second her childhood, and the third her adolescence.
The poem begins with the line "Three years she grew in sun and shower," which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The girl is portrayed as a part of nature, growing and changing with the seasons. The use of personification in the line "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her" emphasizes the girl's connection with nature and the trust she has in it.
In the first stanza, the girl is described as a "babe" who is "nursed in lap of nature." The use of the word "nursed" suggests that nature is like a mother to the girl, providing her with all the nourishment she needs. The image of the "babe" lying on a "bed of moss" is a beautiful one, evoking a sense of peace and tranquility. The line "A violet by a mossy stone" is a metaphor for the girl's innocence and purity.
In the second stanza, the girl is described as a "child" who is "more lovely than a woman." The use of the word "lovely" suggests that the girl is not only physically beautiful but also has a pure and innocent soul. The image of the girl "bounding o'er the mountains" is a powerful one, suggesting that she is full of energy and life. The line "Her beauty made the bright world dim" is a hyperbole, emphasizing the girl's beauty and its effect on the world around her.
In the third stanza, the girl is described as a "maiden" who is "fairer than the first." The use of the word "maiden" suggests that the girl is now on the threshold of womanhood. The image of the girl "gliding" through the woods is a graceful one, suggesting that she has matured and become more refined. The line "The very houses seem asleep" is a personification, emphasizing the girl's connection with nature and her ability to blend in with it.
The poem ends with the line "And then her heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils." This line is a reference to Wordsworth's famous poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," in which he describes a field of daffodils. The line suggests that the girl has found happiness and joy in nature, and that she is now a part of it.
The poem is full of literary devices that enhance its beauty and meaning. The use of personification, metaphor, hyperbole, and imagery creates a vivid picture of the girl and her relationship with nature. The poem is also full of symbolism, with the girl representing human life and nature representing the world around us.
The poem is a celebration of nature and its power to shape and transform human life. It is a reminder that we are a part of nature and that we should cherish and protect it. The poem is also a tribute to the beauty and innocence of childhood, and the joy and happiness that can be found in nature.
In conclusion, "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower" is a poetic masterpiece that captures the essence of nature and its power to shape and transform human life. The poem is full of literary devices and symbolism that enhance its beauty and meaning. It is a celebration of nature, childhood, and the joy and happiness that can be found in both. William Wordsworth's poetic genius is on full display in this beautiful and timeless poem.
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