Reference to the Context
William Words Worth is considered to be one of the greatest and the most prominent figures in the realm of English literature. He was an ardent worshipper of the beauty of Nature. For him, Nature is a living entity, throbbing with life and intensity. Word worth believed poetry to be a spontaneous over flow of emotion but while expressing that spontaneity, he always made use of very simple words which touched the hearts of the readers. In this narrative poem, which is one in the series of Lucy poems, Lucy, the innocent child becomes a symbol of charm and naivete. She is full of playfulness and vivacity but she fall a prey to an unfortunate incident and the span of her life is cut short due to it. The poem relates the story of the tragic end and sudden death of the sweet child.
NO MATE, NO COMRADE LUCY, KNEW;
SHE DWELT ON A WIDE MOOR-
THE SWEETEST THING THAT EVER GREW
BESIDE A HUMAN DOOR!
In the lines given for explanation, the poet is referring to the sweet, innocent child, Lucy. She is presented as a simple, Beautiful creation of Nature. She is passing a life of serene solitude on a barren land. She has no friends or companions. The poet compares her to a fragrant flower blossoming in the wildness.
YOU YET MAY SPY THE FAWN AT PLAY,
THE HARE UPON THE GREEN;
BUT THE SWEET FACE OF LUCY GRAY
WILL NEVER MORE BE SEEN.
In these lines, the note of tragedy creeps in. The poet admires all the beautiful creations of Nature. He appreciates the jocundity of the young deer and the frivolity of the loping hare on the green grass but he is overcome with gloom and sadness to realize that he would not be able to see the face of Lucy anymore. Then the poet begins describing the unfortunate incident which results in the death of Lucy.
NOT BLITHER IS THE MOUNTAIN ROE:
WITH MANY A WANTON STROKE
HE FEET DISPERSE THE POWDERY SNOW
THAT RISES UP LIKE SMOKE.
In the lines given for explanation, the poet describes the playfulness and jolly mood of the sweet child, Lucy. As Lucy is proceeding to the town to bring her mother back from there, she seems to be in a very cheerful countenance. She is more active and agile then a deer. She goes on kicking at the snow. The tender flakes of snow rise in the form of smoke. It presents an Beautiful sight as Lucy appears to be enraptured in her world of gaiety and gamboling.
THE WRETCHED PARENTS ALL THAT NIGHT
WENT SHOUTING FAR AND WIDE;
BUT THERE WAS NEITHER SOUND NOR SIGHT
TO SERVE THEM FOR A GUIDE.
In the given lines, the poet points out that after Lucy loses he way in the tempest, she suffers a tragic death. Thereafter, her parents go on looking for her in every nook or corner. They are overcome with misery and depression as they fail to find her whereabouts. They are unable to visualize her charming face, neither is her sweet voice audible to them. They get no trace of her, and in the end, they are compelled to accept the tragic fact that Lucy is no more alive.
- YET SOME MAINTAIN THAT TO THIS DAY
SHE IS A LIVING CHILD;
THAT YOU MAY SEE SWEET LUCY GRAY
UPON THE LONESOME WILD.
In this closing stanza of the poem, the poet refers to the wild imagination of those who are still living in the world of fancy believing Lucy to be a “Living Child.” They have not yet reconciled to the fact that Lucy has suffered physical death. They not only think that she is alive but also imagine that she is running and playing all over the place. They also imagine Lucy singing a sweet song and her voice reverberating all over the natural surrounding. However, it is nothing more than their imagination because Lucy has already fallen a prey to tragic end.