Thoughts on “Lines Written in Early Spring”


photo: rus vanwestervelt, 2 may 2015, finksburg, md

Finksburg, MD- 2 May 2015. I stood at the end of the long driveway where, about a quarter-mile behind me, my daughter led her pony into the fields, finding her way among the green grasses that seemed to have leaped from the ground in a rush to usher in spring.

From my vantage point, where I could hear the whinny of happy horses wandering lazily in the paddock, I looked along the winding, white fence that separated man and nature, and I whispered the words of William Wordsworth’s “Lines Written in Early Spring.”

As I now turn inward to focus more on my own words and less on the actions and events in and around my hometown, I am struck with a melancholic wash that lingers, despite the sounds and sights of spring’s fulfilled rite.

This, too, shall pass. I am certain. But for now, I will wallow a bit in this paradoxical Baltimore Spring, and ponder the travesties and consequences of what man has done to man.

Lines Written in Early Spring –William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

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?