Why does the poet feel sad while reclining in the grove in "Lines Written in Early Spring"?

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While reclining in a beautiful natural grove, the speaker feels sad because he contemplates and contrasts the sweetness of this lovely scene to what "man has made of man." By this phrase, he means the violence and ugliness of human civilization with all its wars, poverty, hierarchies, and degradations. He...

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While reclining in a beautiful natural grove, the speaker feels sad because he contemplates and contrasts the sweetness of this lovely scene to what "man has made of man." By this phrase, he means the violence and ugliness of human civilization with all its wars, poverty, hierarchies, and degradations. He contrasts that to the beauties and harmonies of the natural world.

The speaker then goes on to describes some of these beauties. These include the primrose and the periwinkle, which he is convinced enjoy the air they breathe. He watches the birds hopping around him and thinks, though he cannot know for sure, that they must be experiencing pleasure. He also imagines the budding twigs spreading out in the breezes enjoying their existence.

The poet is sad about what "man has made of man" because he sees the simplicity of nature as part of God's "holy plan": if people would live in much closer harmony to the natural world, they would experience more joy and contentment.

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