"Every Flower Enjoys The Air It Breathes"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 147

Context: Reclined in a grove, the poet hears "a thousand blended notes" which lead him to the thought that in the world of external Nature there is a joy in merely being. By contrast, his heart is grieved "to think/ What man has made of man." Whether his belief is...

(The entire section contains 147 words.)

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Context: Reclined in a grove, the poet hears "a thousand blended notes" which lead him to the thought that in the world of external Nature there is a joy in merely being. By contrast, his heart is grieved "to think/ What man has made of man." Whether his belief is heaven-sent, whether it is "Nature's holy plan" that flowers enjoy the air they breathe, the birds their playing, and the twigs their spreading to the air–he knows not. But if it is true, then "Have I not reason to lament/ What man has made of man?" Stanzas 3 and 6 read:

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
. . .
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

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"What Man Has Made Of Man"