"She seemed a thing that could not feel / The touch of earthly years." Who is "she"? Why does the poet say this in "A Slumber Did My Spirit Steal"?

The given quotation is taken from William Wordsworth's poem "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal." The "she" that the speaker mentions is a woman that he loved. The speaker describes a dream in which this woman "seem'd a thing that could not feel / The touch of earthly years," meaning that in the dream the woman seemed as if she would never die and be with him forever.

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In the first stanza of Wordsworth's "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal," the speaker seems to recall a dream he has had about the woman that he loved. The implication later in the poem is that this woman is now dead. In the dream, or "slumber," the speaker says that he no longer felt afraid. The implication here is perhaps that he has felt afraid ever since the woman he loved passed away. He has perhaps felt afraid for his own future without the woman he was in love with. The absence of this fear in his dream, therefore, is something to remark upon. In this dream the speaker also saw again the woman he loved, and in the dream this woman "could not feel / The touch of the earthly years." The implication here is that in the dream the woman seemed perhaps young again, as if she could never die, and would thus always be with him.

In the second stanza of the poem the speaker is brought back to the harsh reality outside of his dream. He realizes that the woman he loved is no longer alive. He says in the first line of the stanza, "No motion has she now," and in the second line he emphasizes her absence when he says, "She neither hears nor sees." In other words, this woman is no longer part of the real, corporeal, sensory world. In the final two lines of the stanza, the speaker suggests that this woman's spirit has now returned to nature, and thus lives "with rocks, and stones, and trees." In this way, the speaker tries to reassure himself that the woman he loved is, in some way, still with him.

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