Citically analyse the poem "The Education of Nature," by poet William Wordsworth.

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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"The Education of Nature," by William Wordsworth, is about a girl who is blessed by Nature with beauty and vitality, but then suddenly dies, leaving her lover, the narrator, with only "the memory of what has been, / And never more will be."

The poem begins with "Nature," personified as a conscience, speaking person, declaring that it will take "this child"--the girl--to itself.  Nature promises to bless the girl with beauty, grace, and nobility:

"She shall be sportive as the fawn...

And hers the silence and the calm

Of mute insensate things...

And vital feelings of delight

Shall rear her form to stately height,

Her virgin bosom swell"

Suddenly, though, Nature's "work was done" and "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.



The poem consists of 7 stanzas of 6 lines each.  The rhyme scheme in each stanza is AABCCB.

The rhyming pairs of lines 2 and 4, and lines 4-5 generally contain 8 syllables.  The pair of lines 3 and 6 are shorter, containing 6 or 7 syllables.

The entire poem is written in iambics, meaning that the rhythm resembles: da-DUM-da-DUM-da-DUM; for example, consider the first line of the second syllable:

Myself will to my darling be...