Wordsworth - I wandered lonely as a cloud


Wordsworth, 'Daffodils'


  • Intro

    The work of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth was revolutionary in its day. Wordsworth believed that poetry should explore the purity and beauty of nature, and the deep human emotion inspired by the natural landscape. Previously, poets had focused on grand, moralizing themes. Initially a supporter of the French Revolution, Wordsworth was horrified by the industrialisation of Britain and by the social injustices that came with modernisation – over-crowded cities, poverty, oppression.


    I wandered lonely as a cloud / That floats on high o'er vales and hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd. / A host of golden daffodils…’ The 24-line poem shown in this manuscript sums up the simple splendour of flowers waving in a Lake District breeze. It is one of England's most famous poems. Wordsworth wrote it in 1804, remembering a walk with his sister two years earlier. It was first published in 1807.


    Shelfmark: Add. 47864, f.80

  • Transcript

    Wordsworth - I wandered lonely as a cloud

    To the printer


    (after the poem (in the set under the title of “Moods of my own mind”) beginning “The Cock is crowing” please to insert the two following properly numbered, and number the succeeding accordingly)


    I WANDERED lonely as a cloud

    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

    When all at once I saw a crowd,

    A host, of golden daffodils;

    Along the lake, beneath the trees,

    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.



    The waves beside them danced; but they

    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

    A poet could not but be gay,

    In such a jocund company:

    I gazed - and gazed - but little thought

    What wealth the show to me had brought:


    For oft, when on my couch I lie

    In vacant or in pensive mood,

    They flash upon that inward eye

    Which is the bliss of solitude;

    And then my heart with pleasure fills,

    And dances with the daffodils.


    Who fancied what a pretty sight

    This Rock would be if edged around

    With living snowdrops circled bright!

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