'Waterfall and The Eglantine, The' by William Wordsworth

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"Begone, thou fond presumptuous Elf,"
Exclaimed an angry Voice,
"Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self
Between me and my choice!"
A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows
Thus threatened a poor Briar-rose,
That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,
In an unhappy home.


"Dost thou presume my course to block?
Off, off! or, puny Thing!
I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
To which thy fibres cling."
The Flood was tyrannous and strong;
The patient Briar suffered long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be past;
But, seeing no relief, at last,
He ventured to reply.


"Ah!" said the Briar, "blame me not;
Why should we dwell in strife?
We who in this sequestered spot
Once lived a happy life!
You stirred me on my rocky bed--
What pleasure through my veins you spread
The summer long, from day to day,
My leaves you freshened and bedewed;
Nor was it common gratitude
That did your cares repay.


"When spring came on with bud and bell,
Among these rocks did I
Before you hang my wreaths to tell
That gentle days were nigh!
And in the sultry summer hours,
I sheltered you with leaves and flowers;
And in my leaves--now shed and gone,
The linnet lodged, and for us two
Chanted his pretty songs, when you
Had little voice or none.


"But now proud thoughts are in your breast--
What grief is mine you see,
Ah! would you think, even yet how blest
Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft,
Some ornaments to me are left--
Rich store of scarlet hips is mine,
With which I, in my humble way,
Would deck you many a winter day,
A happy Eglantine!"


What more he said I cannot tell,
The Torrent down the rocky dell
Came thundering loud and fast;
I listened, nor aught else could hear;
The Briar quaked--and much I fear
Those accents were his last.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Beauty of Nature in Wordsworth's "Waterfall" and "The Eglantine"

Oh, how breathtaking it is to be surrounded by nature's beauty! William Wordsworth, a renowned poet of the Romantic era, captures this essence in his two poems "Waterfall" and "The Eglantine." In these poems, Wordsworth uses language to evoke an appreciation of the natural world and to inspire his readers to embrace its beauty.


In "Waterfall," Wordsworth describes the majestic beauty of a waterfall. He writes:

How does the Waterfall come down
  From the summit of the steep,
Where the mountain rocks are crown'd
  With the shadow white and deep?

How does the Waterfall come down
  At once, to be lost in the sea?
In which the sunbeams drown'd and drown'd,
  And seem'd as tho' they would never be.

The opening lines of the poem set the scene for the reader. We are transported to the top of a steep mountain where we can see the waterfall cascading down the rocks. Wordsworth's use of language is vivid, and we can almost hear the sound of the water as it tumbles down the rocks.

As the poem progresses, Wordsworth describes the waterfall in greater detail. He writes:

But the Waterfall, as if to mock
  The arms stretched forth to clasp its beauty,
Enjoys the heaven it meets, and rock'd
  To madness with the wild and wavy hair,
Rocks with its heart in the free heaven,
  Shaking its melancholy hair.

Here, Wordsworth personifies the waterfall, giving it human-like qualities. The waterfall is described as "mocking" those who try to capture its beauty, and it "enjoys the heaven it meets." This description adds to the sense of majesty and awe that the reader feels when reading the poem.

Overall, "Waterfall" is a beautiful tribute to the power and majesty of nature. It reminds us to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and to never take it for granted.

"The Eglantine"

In "The Eglantine," Wordsworth shifts his focus to a different aspect of nature: the eglantine, or wild rose. He writes:

A little onward lend thy guiding hand
To these dark steps, a little further on!
What trick of memory to my voice hath brought
This mournful iteration? For though Time,
More than broad waves that rippled round the bark
Whereon thy weak hand ventured, hath to me
Afforded no such theme; yet ne'ertheless
Brings back to me that day in early youth,
When under thus dilated arch I sate
In lasting intercourse of sight and thought
With one beloved; beneath the breath of spring,
While the wild eglantine hung drooping down
O'er the green herbéd seat whereon we sate;
And he, with forehead prest against the bank,
Look'd steadfastly into the brook that stream'd
With a clear murmuring noise.

Here, Wordsworth is describing a memory from his early youth. He remembers sitting under an arch with someone he loved, surrounded by the beauty of the wild eglantine. The language is vivid and evocative, and we can almost feel the gentle breeze and hear the sound of the brook.

As the poem continues, Wordsworth reflects on the eglantine and what it represents. He writes:

The eglantine is gone, but here the rose,
The queen of flowers, is come to take its place;
Yet will I not presume to join the train,
For I am but a lowly shepherdess,
And wear the simple garb of rustic life.

Here, Wordsworth is acknowledging the passing of time and the fact that things change. The eglantine, which was once so beloved, has been replaced by the rose. Yet he also recognizes the beauty of the rose and how it can inspire us to appreciate the natural world.


In "Waterfall" and "The Eglantine," Wordsworth celebrates the beauty of nature and reminds us of its power and majesty. His language is vivid and evocative, and we can almost feel the gentle breeze and hear the sound of the water. Through these poems, Wordsworth inspires us to appreciate the natural world and to embrace its beauty.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

William Wordsworth is one of the most celebrated poets of the Romantic era, known for his vivid descriptions of nature and his ability to capture the beauty of the world around us. Two of his most famous works, Poetry Waterfall and The Eglantine, showcase his talent for painting a picture with words and evoking powerful emotions in his readers.

Poetry Waterfall is a stunning ode to the power and majesty of nature. Wordsworth begins by describing the waterfall as a "mighty torrent" that "rushes down the steep" with a "roaring sound." He goes on to describe the "misty spray" that rises from the water and the "rainbow" that appears in the mist, creating a breathtaking scene that is both awe-inspiring and humbling.

As Wordsworth continues his description of the waterfall, he begins to explore the deeper meaning behind this natural wonder. He writes, "The cataract / Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock, / The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, / Their colours and their forms, were then to me / An appetite; a feeling and a love, / That had no need of a remoter charm, / By thought supplied, or any interest / Unborrowed from the eye."

Here, Wordsworth is expressing his belief that nature has the power to move us in ways that are beyond our understanding. The waterfall, with its raw power and beauty, becomes a symbol for the deeper mysteries of life and the universe. It is a reminder that there is more to the world than what we can see and touch, and that we should always strive to connect with the natural world around us.

The Eglantine, on the other hand, is a much more personal and introspective poem. It tells the story of a young girl who is gathering flowers in a field when she comes across an eglantine, a type of wild rose. As she picks the flower, she pricks her finger on a thorn and begins to bleed. This experience leads her to reflect on the beauty and pain of life, and the fleeting nature of all things.

Wordsworth writes, "The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; / I heard a voice; it said, 'Drink, pretty creature, drink!' / And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied / A snow-white mountain lamb with a maiden at its side."

Here, Wordsworth is using the image of the lamb and the maiden to symbolize the innocence and purity of youth. The girl, with her bleeding finger, represents the pain and suffering that we all experience as we grow older and face the challenges of life. Yet, even in the midst of this pain, there is still beauty and wonder to be found in the world around us.

As the poem continues, Wordsworth explores the idea that all things must eventually come to an end. He writes, "But ne'er did I behold aught like the eglantine; / Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, / And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

Here, Wordsworth is expressing his belief that life is fleeting and that we must cherish every moment that we have. The eglantine, with its delicate beauty and thorns, becomes a symbol for the bittersweet nature of life itself.

In both Poetry Waterfall and The Eglantine, Wordsworth demonstrates his ability to capture the essence of the natural world and the human experience. Through his vivid descriptions and powerful imagery, he invites us to connect with the world around us in a deeper and more meaningful way. Whether we are standing in awe of a majestic waterfall or contemplating the fleeting nature of life, Wordsworth reminds us that there is beauty and wonder to be found in every moment.

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