Lines Written in Early Spring

by William Wordsworth

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Where and when did the poet hear a thousand blended notes in "Lines Written in Early Spring"?

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"I heard a thousand blended notes" is the opening line of William Wordsworth's "Lines Written in Early Spring." The title reveals the time of its composition, and the second line, "While in a grove I sate reclined," confirms the poet's location.

It's among the poems included in Wordsworth's "Lyrical Ballads," the volume in which he unfurled the romantic revolution in English poetry. The lines

To her fair works did Nature link

The human soul that through me ran;

embody the poet's belief in the sacral quality of the bond between man and nature, which would become a central feature of this literary movement. In conclusion, the poet contrasts his pantheistic vision, in which the playing birds and budding twigs on a spring day express a pleasure that are part of "Nature's holy plan," with a melancholy reflection on "what man has made of man."

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The poet hears the thousand blended notes as he sits reclined—relaxing—in a grove in the early spring. He is out in nature, and he is most enjoying the scene in front of him: the periwinkle and primrose in bloom, the song of the birds, and the sight of the birds hopping and playing, the buds bursting on the tree limbs, the breezes, and the green of the earth emerging as winter ends. It puts him into a "sweet mood." He thinks of all he sees as part of God's plan. The beauty of nature is holy to him.

The sweet mood he experiences watching the natural world also brings, however, sad thoughts. What has civilization done to this beautiful natural world that God has created? The narrator thinks, in contrast to all this, of what "man has made of man," sorrowing over the cruelties people visit on one another.

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