Summary and Analysis of Wordsworth's 'Simon Lee'

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Summary of the Poem Simon Lee

Simon Lee was praised by Wordsworth for being a man of substance, strength and character. He worked as a huntsman for 25 years, a job that left him blinded in one eye. He was considered the poorest of the poor, with a small house and little land. In spite of his circumstances, he still had cheeks like cherries (p.197), which I envision as a happy, jolly countenance. Wordsworth speaks of Simon Lee as a man to be admired when commenting that “no man like him the horn could sound….and He all the country could out run, could leave both man and horse behind”(p. 198). If you ever take the time out to talk to the elderly, you’ll likely hear stories of great accomplishments and victories that they once relished in, that now seem to be of less relevance to anyone.
Simon Lee was childless, but had an equally hardworking wife, Ruth who “works out of doors with him” (p198). Although he is in poor health, he will be the first to tell you he has years of life left, like so many of our elderly. I, like Wordsworth, love the spirit of the elderly, for they have a drive for independence and don’t mind taking on a task that outsiders already know is impossible. This is evident in Simon Lee, when he tries to tackle an old rotten tree stump. Although failure was not in his blood, he knew when to accept help. As I was shopping the other day, I overheard an elderly lady, stating that she couldn’t find her walking stick and may have left it in the store next door. As she mentioned it again “to herself”, I knew she was too embarrassed to ask for help, so I offered to look next door. As I returned with her walking stick, the look of relief on her face was rewarding. As we go through life, we should take time to not only honor and respect the elderly, but to lend a helping hand, as Wordsworth did, when the opportunity

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