Wordsworth or “the Muse of Poetry” well known as “a priest of Nature”, who shows:
“……………….the light of setting sun,
And the round ocean, and the blue sky,
The living air and the mind of man”.
English poetry before Wordsworth was the poetry of town and drawing room but Wordsworth drew the attention of the readers towards rills and hills, skies and stars, rivers and trees. In his poetry he adopted Rousseau’s slogan “Return to nature” but in his return to her he never grew morbid like Rousseau or animal like D.H. Lawrence. He says “love he had found in huts where poor men lives”, and his poetry is the “language of conversation among middle and poor classes of the society”, and as a poet he is “a man speaking to men”. So, he today remains the living voice crying in its wilderness prophetic protest, not only against the unhealthiness civilization but also against the drop brutality of the machine world.
“Wordsworth”, in his poetry remarks F.L. Lucas “was more wiser than Rousseau and less wise than Montaigne”. Because of this simple strength his work endures without any rainbow of magic of Coleridge; or the kiss of La Balle Dame Sans Merci on pale lips of Keats; or the sun shimmering mists of Shelly’s vision; or the passionate gloom of Byron. Thus, he goes on his way and becomes totally different from that of his contemporaries. Wordsworth independence towards Nature led him to the heart of common things. It was an instinct in him, as Shakespeare does, he too:
“Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks
Sermons in stone and good in everything”.
The poem World is too Much With Us about the people who are out of tune with nature. In the present poem Wordsworth shows us a beautiful image of nature:
“…….sea that bares her bosom to the moon
The winds that will be howling all hours
And now up gathered like the sleeping flowers”.
Tintern Abbey is the complete philosophy of Wordsworth and the most reflective poem of English literature. In this poem he says that nature is:
The guide and guardian of my heart and soul
And all of my moral being”.
In the same poem he advices his sister Dorothy that nature takes us “joy to joy” and it “never betray the heart of that loves her”.
About Wordsworth’s treatment of nature Huxley says that Wordsworth were born in a country where there is plenty of nature if he were in desert of Arabia his intention towards nature would be totally different. Huxley’s intention is that Wordsworth deals in his poetry those aspects which he found in Lake District. But Wordsworth proves Huxley wrong in his poem The Solitary Reaper which is about the “melancholy strain” of “yon solitary…..single in the field”. About her song Wordsworth says:
“No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More melodious in some weary bands
Of travellers in some shaddy haunt
Among Arabian Sands”
This poem shows that Wordsworth did not see the landscape in all its details. He had no real scenery but he can create desert scene in his imagination.
In Daffodils he spent no time at the description of daffodils. Instead he describes them as
“Besides the lake, beneth the trees
Fluttering an d dancing in the bridge”
Wordsworth believes that “Nature is a teacher whose wisdom we can learn, and without human is vain and incomplete”. In Immortality Ode , he says , when he was a boy his love towards nature was a thoughtless passion but now the object of nature takes sober colouring in his eyes because he sees the “still sad music of humanity”:
“To me the meanest flower that blows can give the
Thought that often do lie too deep for tears”.
Thus, we see that Wordsworth love for nature underwent various charges. It starts form the delight of childhood and culminated into the worship. But as “a pure poet” it is very easy to criticize Wordsworth; as he had admirer like Tennyson and Arnold “thick angle” and “boor”. For Fitzgerald he was “Daddy Wordsworth” and for Swinburne he was a “Philistine”; Rossetti remarks “good, you know, but unbearable”. Meredith remarks in Richard Feveral “He is a superior donkey reclaimed from heathen”. But besides these charges he hailed out as a great great poet of nature.
In sum, nature was never dead for Wordsworth, but it is full if breath of infinite breath. So Wordsworth personifies Nature and natural objects most imaginative way. He identified God and Nature as one. Wordsworth tries to seek out the principle of joy wherever it can be found. One may add to it, we cannot see the Nature with Wordsworth’s eyes.