Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower by William Wordsworth
In this poem Lucy a young girl by name is innocent. She is lovely. She is reared and loved by nature. Nature takes her away. Nature wants to bring her up on virtuous lines-curbing evil desires and inspiring the child to lead a noble life. Nature feels that all natural objects such as rocks, plains, earth, heaven, glades and bowers will make exercise to a very healthy influence on her and supervise her growth. Lucy will lead a very happy life. She will be as gleeful and cheerful as the young one of deer which frisks about the hills and the valleys, the floating clouds will lead her to their beauty and she will make her able to see the charm even in the agitation of the storm.
Midnight’s beauty of the stars and the beauty of the sweet sounds produced by stream during their downward course will be reflected in her face. Nature will make her happy and her beautiful breast will rise and fall in a rhythmical movement. This is how Lucy will live in the company of nature in whom she will find friend, philosopher and guide.
It happens according to Nature’s will. The life of Lucy in this world comes to a sudden end. Her death is a premature one. She is taken away by nature and the poet is left quite alone in the valley. He cherishes the sad and sweet memory of the past how the two-Wordsworth and Lucy, lived together and how they are parted. Only her memory remains. She still never returns. Only remembrance consoles the poet in her pensive mood.
As an Elegy
The poem is in the form of an elegy. It is lyrical as the poet reproduces his personal experiences and takes in most pathetic words about the personal loss that he sustained in the ultimate death of Lucy. It is lyrical because of the sweet music that lends a peculiar charm to the theme of the poem. It is also a narrative poetry written under the romantic impulses. In this poem there is freshness and pensive sweetness which gives it an original place in literature.
It is said that Rousseau’s influence on Wordsworth is felt. Lucy’s growth both in body and mind is a kin to Rousseau’s Emile.
Lucy is a paragon of beauty. Nature intends to make a union of the two forces restraining force and driving force–in the character of Lucy. Nature supplies natural energies to rear her as a lady of her own. She has been an ‘overseeing’ power to influence her to do the right thing and to restrain her from act of evil- intention.
The language used in this poem is simple, there is sweet music, a very rare thing in Wordsworth. The poem is written in stanzas of six lines each and the rhyme scheme is ab ccb. The tale has a direct beginning and the keynote is struck in the very first line. The loftiness of the theme, the simple diction, a touch of pathos at the end, a colourful imagination are distinct features of the poem.
This poem may be cited as a lyrical ballad. The poet’s personal feelings on Lucy are expressed while it narrates the tale of Lucy in verse. The poem is marked for its simplicity and spontaneity. It springs from the depth of heart. It impresses all with all its fine singing qualities.
Questions and Answers
1 What misery did, William Wordsworth feel after the disappearance of Lucy?
Ans. Lucy was taken away by Nature. The poet felt shocked. He even felt sick at heart in a world of forlorn made by Lucy.
2. What happened to Lucy after the completion of her education?
Ans. Lucy was educated under the guidance of Nature. After the completion of her education Lucy died a premature death.
3. What was Nature’s promise before she looks Lucy up for bringing her up?
Ans. Nature promised Lucy that she would be both ‘Law and impulse’ to her to be led safely through all the ups and downs of life.
4. Is nature ‘Law and impulse’ to Lucy and how?
Ans. Yes, nature would be friend, philosopher and guide to educate Lucy. The essential human virtues, and the principles of lawful conduct will be taught to Lucy by nature.
5. “Such thoughts to Lucy I will give.”-Who is “I” here and what are these thoughts?
Ans. ‘l’ refers to nature, the pathfinder of Lucy
By such ‘thoughts’ Nature refers to the education that she would code to Lucy. Nature would educate grand thoughts deriving from the bower of the magnificence objects of Nature.
6. “How soon my Lucy’s race was run!”-What does this line display?
Ans. Lucy’s premature death has been revealed here. After the completion of her education, she died. Her death made the poet shocked. The poet found himself forlorn.
7. “Thus Nature spake the work was done
How soon my Lucy’s race was run!” How did Nature speak? What work was done ? What was the poets the feel after the work was done? What does ‘spake’ refer to here?
Ans. Nature promises that she will make Lucy a lady of her own. She then spoke explaining how she wished to do this.
Here the word ‘work’ refers to Lucy’s metamorphosis into Nature’s own shadow. It indicates that after leaving this world for ever she would be completely identified with nature.
Lucy was the poet’s dear one. After her death the poet got shocked naturally.
“Spake’ is an archaic word. It is spoke’ now. The poet uses it to make the poetic diction beautiful and invest nature with a sort of sublimity.
8. What memory of the poet has been reflected in this poem? Why does he say ‘never will be’?
Ans. William Wordsworth speaks of the memory of Lucy, his beloved He commemorates how Lucy, a complete child of nature, lived in the ambience of nature. He also remembers how Lucy brought up under the benevolence of nature and died a premature death.
Lucy is a girl of exceptional beauty and charm. Nature bestows her all Lucy. For this the poet says that Lucy is uncomparable i.e. there will never be another girl like Lucy.
9. How old was Lucy when Nature chose Lucy to make of her own ? Why did she choose Lucy?
Ans. Lucy was three years old. Then nature decided to make her own. It is clear in this line-“Three years, she grew in sun and shower”.
Nature chooses Lucy for she was the loveliest child of nature. She with finer human qualities brought up under the direct influence of Nature
10. What are the Natural objects that shape Lucy?
Ans. Nature indebted Lucy by providing all the fine things of her. The floating clouds, the midnight stars and the murmuring streams endow her with their grandeurous charms. Lucy feels the presence of the spirit of Nature around her being surrounded with the glades and bowers. Lucy is influenced by the benevolence of nature and, thereby, shaped and moulded as if she was herself a part of Nature,
11. ” : and with me The girl, in rock and plain In earth and heaven, in glade and bower, Shall feel an overseeing power To kindle or restrain”
-What is meant by ‘an overseeing power? Who will feel it? Who will make her feel it? How can something ‘kindle’ and ‘restrain’ at the time?
Ans. “Overseeing power’ refers to the ubiquitous spirit of nature in everything. Lucy feels this power. Nature will make her of her own to feel this.
There is an apparent contrast between ‘kindle’ and ‘restrain’. “Kindle’ means inspiration while ‘restrain’ is to hold in check. Here, nature balances between passion and restraint in Lucy. Thus, there is no real contrast between these two.
12. Bring out the significance of the contradictory phrase ‘both law and impulse.
Ans. The phrase ‘law and impulse’ bears an apparent contradiction. Generally law tries to hold passion in check and impulse to break the law. Nature fused law and impulse in Lucy’s character. Thus this phrase bears no real contradiction.
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