What was the mood of the poet as he sat in the grove?

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A careful reading of the poem "Lines Written in Early Spring" by William Wordsworth reveals that the poet is experiencing a mood of joy tinged with underlying sorrow. He is joyful in his contemplation of the beauties of nature that he observes all around him. At the same...

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A careful reading of the poem "Lines Written in Early Spring" by William Wordsworth reveals that the poet is experiencing a mood of joy tinged with underlying sorrow. He is joyful in his contemplation of the beauties of nature that he observes all around him. At the same time, he is sorrowful when he thinks of what humans are doing to their fellow humans, in opposition to the peace and tranquility that nature seeks to bestow.

Wordsworth writes that he hears "a thousand blended notes," in reference to the sensory stimuli with which nature surrounds him. He gives details of this in his descriptions of the primroses in their bower and the periwinkles' trailing wreaths. He declares that even flowers feel joy when they breathe in fresh air. He then adds that the birds around him also seem to derive pleasure from their hopping and playing. Even the spreading twigs on the bushes and trees feel enjoyment from the breeze.

Despite the natural wonders around him, Wordsworth cannot help but feel sorrow as well. These "pleasant thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind." It grieves his heart in the midst of this beauty "to think what man has made of man." He echoes this thought again at the end when he declares, "Have I not reason to lament what man has made of man?"

During the time of the writing and publication of this poem, France was attacking much of Europe, including England, in the French Revolutionary Wars under Napoleon. It's probable that news of this bloody ongoing conflict contributed to Wordsworth's underlying melancholy in this poem.

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