In the poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," do you think the speaker regrets his loss of youth? Please explain within the context of the poem as a whole.
William Wordsworth's "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," is a classic example of Wordsworthian Romanticism. It's also a long and complex poem, so it's perfectly fine to be confused by the subject matter. The most important thing to know about the poem is that it deals with memories of the past, wrestles with nostalgia, and tries to discern the benefits of experienced maturity over passionate youth.
First, some context for the poem: the poem focuses on the speaker's return to a place of great natural beauty that he frequented when he was young. We learn that he has been away for quite some time, presumably living and working in an urban environment, and memories of his bucolic childhood have sustained him throughout this process. Naturally, this leads us to wonder if the speaker regrets his loss of youth. In order to answer this question, it's worth looking at a long quotation from the body of the poem:
For nature then(The coarser pleasures of my boyish daysAnd their glad animal movements all gone by)To me was all in all.—I cannot paintWhat then I was. The sounding cataractHaunted me like a passion: the tall rock,The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,Their colours and their forms, were then to meAn appetite; a feeling and a love,That had no need of a remoter charm,By thought supplied, not any interestUnborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,And all its aching joys are now no more,And all its dizzy raptures. Not for thisFaint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other giftsHave followed; for such loss, I would believe,Abundant recompense. (76-92)
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