Last Updated September 5, 2023.
"It is a Beauteous Evening" is a poem by William Wordsworth that describes an idyllic scene. The poet shares an intimate moment with his daughter, a very domestic and intimate poem, more so than the majority of his works.
This piece of poetry is much less figurative than many other pieces of poetry, as it describes a beautiful evening with frank sincerity, and the poet expresses his awe and wonder at the natural beauty he experiences there. He begins by stating that it is a calm, quiet evening, beautiful and free. He states that it is "quiet as a nun," meaning that this dusk hour is tranquil and acts as a perfect backdrop for the majesty they experience.
The sun is setting, casting a golden light over the ocean and the beach on which the two walk. Wordsworth is in awe of the beauty and reflects on the mighty Being—the Sea, which crashes eternally, thundering against the coast. This setting puts awe in his heart, and he is amazed by the incredible beauty around him.
What is most striking, however, to the poet, is his daughter's lack of wonder at the beautiful scene. He states that she seems unaffected by the incredible scene before them; she is instead wrapped up in inner thought. Being a young girl of only nine or ten, she is less amazed by the sights, although she surely enjoys the beautiful scenery of the beach and sunset. Wordsworth states that, though she is unaffected, she is no less "divine," meaning she is not flawed in any way; it is simply her youth and lack of understanding of the nature of creation and the inherent beauty therein that causes her not to look on in awe at the scene before them. Nonetheless, it is clear that Wordsworth cherishes this moment dearly.