William Wordsworth's poem "She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways" is one of his collection of Lucy poems. Lucy is most likely a fictionalized rendering of Wordsworth's feelings toward his sister. In this poem, the speaker describes the life of one who has passed away. Lucy's life was a retiring one. She was not well-known, she had few friends, but she made a difference in the life of the speaker.
In the first stanza, the speaker describes the maid who had "none to praise" her and "very few to love." By living "among the untrodden ways," she had isolated herself from others' company.
In the second stanza, the speaker compares Lucy to a violet that is "half hidden from the eye." This metaphor portrays the beauty of Lucy that only a few even saw. He uses a simile comparing her to a star, who might only be noticed if it were the only one shining in the sky. Other women who are louder, more gregarious, less shy would be like other stars who would divert attention away from Lucy.
In the third stanza, we are again told that she "lived unknown," so much so that almost no one knew when she died. But the surprising and heartfelt conclusion of the poem shows that Lucy did not live unnoticed. The speaker noticed her beauty and obviously loved her, and will mourn greatly for her death:
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!