This essay intends to compare the perspectives of two romantic poets, William Wordsworth and George Gordon Byron, toward nature. In1921, David Nichol Smith commented on William Wordsworth as ‘our greatest nature poet’ and it is an opinion many would still believe in. As a poet of Nature, Wordsworth is at the highest ranking. He is a worshipper of Nature, Nature’s enthusiast or high-priest. The poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ or commonly known as ‘Daffodils’ is one of the last remaining truly well-liked poems. From it, one obtains an image of Wordsworth as someone comforted and enlivened by the flowers he finds while walking among the dales and hills. His worship of Nature was likely more ...view middle of the document...
In his opinion, human beings who grow up and mature in the lap of Nature are complete in every aspect.
Wordsworth believed that we can learn more of man and of moral evil and good from Nature than from all the philosophies. In his opinion, “Nature is a teacher whose wisdom we can learn, and without which any human life is vain and incomplete.” Influenced by Rousseau, he believed in the teaching of man by Nature. This inter-connection of Nature and man is extremely influential in considering Wordsworth’s viewpoint of both.
Cazamian comments that “To Wordsworth, Nature appears as a formative influence superior to any other, the educator of senses and mind alike, the sower in our hearts of the deep-laden seeds of our feelings and beliefs. It speaks to the child in the fleeting emotions of early years, and stirs the young poet to an ecstasy, the glow of which illuminates all his work and dies of his life.”
Wordsworth’s early years had been spent in Nature’s lap. A nurse both strict and benevolent, she had planted seeds of compassion and comprehension in that developing mind. Natural scenes like the grass-covered Derwent river bank or the monster shape of the night-shrouded mountain played an important part in the maturation of his mind. In The Prelude, he remarks a large number of these natural scenes, not for themselves but for what his mind could learn through.
Nature was both law and inspiration; and in earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Wordsworth was aware of a spirit which inspired and restrained. In a diversity of provoking ways, which he did not comprehend, Nature encroached on his adventures and amusements, even when he was indoors, speaking momentous things. He had not searched for her; neither was he intellectually conscious of her existence. She fascinated his attention by provoking feelings of fear or joy which were natural influencing him physically as well as emotionally. With time the feelings were established permanently in his memory. All the examples in Book I of The Prelude illustrate a kind of initial animism at work; the sensations and psychological disruptions influence outer scenes in such a way that Nature sounds to cultivate by beauty and by fear.
In Tintern Abbey, Wordsworth follows the growth of his love for Nature. In his childhood Nature was plainly a playing field for him. At the second step he started to love and pursue Nature but he was fully fascinated by its gratifying or artistic appeal. Eventually, his love for Nature gained a spiritual and intellectual property, and he understood Nature’s role as an educator.
In the Immortality Ode, he explains that in his boyhood, his love for Nature was an inconsiderate fervour but that when he grew up; the objects of Nature took a thoughtful coloration from his eyes and gave rise to serious thoughts in his mind because he had observed the hardships of humanity:
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie...