Please can you summarise "To a Skylark" by William Wordsworth.

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This is a relatively short poem by William Wordsworth, comprising stanzas of six lines each. It utilizes a regular ABABCC rhyme scheme, and is an address, as the title implies, to a skylark the poet has encountered.

The poet addresses the skylark as "ethereal minstrel," and asks whether it "despises" the earth below its realm in the sky, because that earth is so full of "cares." This is a musing on the part of the poet—he also allows that the skylark might feel more tethered, "heart and eye," to its nest which is on the ground. He seems envious of the fact that the skylark can settle into this nest "at will," and is able to determine whether to be part of the heavenly kingdom or of the earthly one, depending upon its whim.

As he enters deeper into his reverie, the poet continues this suggestion that there is a heavenly aspect to the skylark, more than might be found in other birds such as the nightingale, whose "shady wood" is not comparable to the skylark's "glorious light." Deriving from this "privacy" of light is a "harmony," an issuance of song, which the skylark pours upon the world. The poet suggests that the harmony of the skylark is particularly "divine" because the skylark is "wise" enough to "soar"—fly high above its earthly nest and the "cares" of those on the ground—but chooses not to "roam," or abandon the earth entirely. As such, its song connects, in harmony, "the kindred points of Heaven and Home." The implication seems to be that, to the poet's mind, the song of the skylark draws together the heavenly and earthly realms and creates a more beautiful harmony because of this.

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This excellent poem by William Wordsworth is not to be confused with the poem by Shelley with exactly the same title. However, interestingly, both poems are rather similar with their focus on the skylark as a creature who, through its song, is able to transcend the troubles of life.

In Wordsworth's poem, the speaker is walking through "wilderness dreary" and feeling weighed down by the worries of the world. He is attracted to the joy of the skylark's song, and desires to fly up into the sky to be with the skylark in its realm, recognising that there is both a "madness" to the skylark and a "joy divine" in its song. The speaker finds inspiration in the skylark's song, which is "As full of gladness and as free of heaven," to "plod on" in his journey as he has hope for "higher raptures" when he reaches the end of his life.

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