Coleridge distinguishes between what he calls Primary and Secondary imagination; for him, Primary Imagination was spontaneous poetry that arose from an impulse stemming from the beauty of nature whereas Secondary Imagination was when the poet had to consciously will him or herself to write. This poem is particularly interesting because it starts off by focusing on the Secondary Imagination as the poet forces himself to imagine what his friends were seeing and what natural beauties they were enjoying. It is only subsequently, in the second and third stanza, that he is overwhelmed by the beauties of nature in his environs that he can perceive from his "lime-tree bower prison" that he shifts to Primary Imagination:
Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure;No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,No waste so vacant, but may well employEach faculty of sense, and keep the heartAwake to Love and Beauty!