William Wordsworth’s seminal Romantic poem ‘Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’ (often shortened to just ‘Tintern Abbey’) has just turned 222 years old!
William Wordsworth was an English poet who grew to be one of the founding members of the English Romantic Movement in the 19th century. Romanticism highly valued the individual and nature, believing that emotion, rather than rationalization, was the most effective way to perceive nature. Wordsworth himself was among the first poets to bring Romantic ideals to English art and culture, such as through his collaboration with fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads.
‘Tintern Abbey’ was composed on July 13, 1798, as Wordsworth was walking a few miles near Tintern Abbey in Wales (as the title points out) and is a testament to Wordsworth’s love of nature. It features beautiful segments of pastoral scenes describing the English countryside, such as:
Once againDo I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,That on a wild secluded scene impressThoughts of more deep seclusion; and connectThe landscape with the quiet of the sky.
Until, the breath of this corporeal frameAnd even the motion of our human bloodAlmost suspended, we are laid asleepIn body, and become a living soul:While with an eye made quiet by the powerOf harmony, and the deep power of joy,We see into the life of things.