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Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

by William Wordsworth
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In "Tintern Abbey," what was Wordsworth’s attitude toward Nature when he first visited the Wye?

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It is interesting that the speaker of the poem begins by telling us that it has been five years since he was last looking at the spectacular view of nature that he has returned to now. This becomes important, because as the poem progresses, the now more sober and philosophical Wordsworth compares his enjoyment and appreciation of the view with his more passionate and uncontained responses when he first visited the spot. Note how he describes how he reacted five years ago:

And so I dare to hope,

Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first

I came among these hills; when like a roe

I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides

Of teh deep rivers, and the lonely streams,

Wherever nature led: more like a man

Flying from something that he dreads, than one

Who sought the thing he loved.

Wordsworth described himself as a passionate animal, revelling in the beauty of nature before him, comparing himself to a deer. Nature, then, to Wordsworth was "all in all," an "appetite; a feeling and a love." Wordsworth then goes on to say that this time has passed, but he is not sad about this, because those "raptures" have been replaced by different but equally beneficial responses to nature.

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