Full Title: "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey; On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798"
"Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" was written in July of 1798 and published as the last poem of Lyrical Ballads, also in 1798. At the age of twenty-three (in August of 1793), Wordsworth had visited the desolate abbey alone. In 1798 he returned to the same place with his beloved sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, who was a year younger. Dorothy is referred to as "Friend" throughout the poem.
Often the poem is simply called "Tintern Abbey." The abbreviated title is effective for clarity's sake, but it is also misleading, as the poem does not actually take place in the abbey. Wordsworth begins his poem by telling the reader that it has been five years since he has been to this place a few miles from the abbey. He describes the "Steep and lofty cliffs," the "wild secluded scene," the "quiet of the sky," the "dark sycamore" he sits under, the trees of the orchard, and the "pastoral farms" with "wreaths of smoke" billowing from their chimneys.
In the second stanza Wordsworth tells his readers that his first visit to this place gave him "sensations sweet" when he was in the "lonely rooms" of the city. He intimates that these "feelings... / Of unremembered pleasure" may have helped him to be a better person, perhaps simply by putting him in a better mood than he would have been in otherwise:
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Wordsworth goes on to suggest his spiritual relationship with nature, which he believes will be a part of him until he... [continues]
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