"Here loge as in a sanctuary." What is poet inviting the butterfly to do in this line from "To a Butterfly"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "To a Butterfly" by William Wordsworth , the speaker addresses a butterfly that he has been observing on a flower in his orchard, where his sister has planted flowers. The butterfly has been completely still for half an hour, so the speaker is unsure whether the insect...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In "To a Butterfly" by William Wordsworth, the speaker addresses a butterfly that he has been observing on a flower in his orchard, where his sister has planted flowers. The butterfly has been completely still for half an hour, so the speaker is unsure whether the insect is sleeping or consuming nectar.

In the second stanza, he identifies himself as the property owner and assures the butterfly that it is welcome with the words, "Here rest your wings when they are weary; Here lodge as in a sanctuary!" He anticipates that his guest will soon be off, floating on the breeze into the trees. Before that happens, he wants the butterfly to know that it is safe to return anytime. He offers his orchard as a secure refuge for the creature. Not only will no harm come to it, but he promises pleasant conversations about the long summer days of childhood.

In the third stanza, the speaker implores the butterfly not to go yet but to remain a while longer. He then recounts how the butterfly reminds him of his childhood when he and his sister Emmaline would chase butterflies together. Because butterflies remind him of his family of origin, he offers this butterfly protection in perpetuity.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team