This poem, whose official title is “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798”, is a major narrative statement expressing the heart of the “Romantic” movement: We go to Nature (here represented by the ruins and the river and banks and sycamore tree) to recall and re-“feel” the joyful emotions from our more innocent past, to “recollect in tranquility” the “powerful emotions” that our earth-life has separated us from (Wordsworth in another poem refers to the “toys” that this world places in our childhood lap). For the first-person narrator of this poem describes the scene he has not “seen” in a long time, but which he “sees” almost daily in his mind, his imagination (“These beauteous forms,/Through a long absence...feelings too of /Of unremembered pleasure” ). They also remind him of a lost love (“on the banks of this delightful stream/We stood together…”).
"Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798" is essentially a celebration of nature and its majestic ability to calm the human soul. Similar to many Romantic writers, William Wordsworth felt an inherent connection between mankind and nature. Throughout the poem, the narrator examines how the natural environment can inspire his spirit independent of inhospitable surroundings. The narrator also laments the passing of time and explores how his earlier perception of the serene environment has changed. The pastoral landscape described in the poem conjures feelings of ecstasy and joy in the narrator. In moments of uncertainty and anguish, the narrator simply needs to recall the memory of the natural landscape in order to find tranquility. As the narrator speaks about the peaceful atmosphere along the Wye River in Wales, he tells his sister that he hopes she will one day have the ability to experience the restorative power of nature.