Analysis Pages

Vocabulary in Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

Vocabulary Examples in Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey:

Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798

9

"exhortations..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The noun “exhortation” refers to the act of making a strong appeal. Through this final stanza, Wordsworth exclaims that he has reached the conclusion of his argument. He has documented each way nature has served as a guide and refuge for him during times of grief. He hopes that he can pass on this wisdom to his sister during their visit to the abbey.

"ecstasies..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The word “ecstasies” describes a state of overwhelming delight. Here, Wordsworth returns to the theme of maturation, elucidating how age can transform one’s perception of nature. With maturity, youthful passions—“wild ecstasies”—transform into “sober pleasure.”

"To chasten and subdue. ..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

Instead of looking to nature to provide a source of release, the speaker now looks to it for its “ample power / to chasten and subdue.” The verb “to chasten” means to restrain while the verb “to subdue” means to bring under control. Both verbs suggest that over time nature has afforded the speaker the maturity to think inwardly.

"And all its dizzy raptures. ..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The phrase “dizzy raptures” aptly illustrates the speaker’s previous relationship with nature. The former word “dizzy” describes a whirling sensation in the head, while the latter word “rapture” describes an experience of overwhelming emotion. With the power of hindsight, the speaker is able to look back on his passionate, emotional connection with nature. However, as he suggests in the following line, he does not yearn to return to that stage in his life.

"cataract..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The noun “cataract” refers to a large, powerful waterfall that runs over a precipice. As a child, nature was awe-inspiring for the speaker—the cataract, the mountains, and the woods “haunted [him] like a passion.” The overwhelming colors and shapes were like “a feeling and a love,” suggesting that he and nature were connected on an instinctive level.

"O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the woods,..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The word “sylvan” means “wooded” and derives from “Silvanus,” the Roman God of woods and fields. By characterizing the Wye as sylvan, the speaker personifies the river as a “wanderer” of the woods and thanks it for all the times the thought of it has provided a sort of refuge for the speaker.

"The wild green landscape...."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

Used repeatedly throughout the first stanza, the descriptors “green” and “wild” illustrate a fertile, abundant landscape beginning to become contaminated by signs of industrialization. Romantics envisioned a simple past and disapproved of the corruption of nature by factories and pollution.

"copses..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The word “copse” refers to a thicket of small trees. In line with the idea of blurring colors and objects together, the speaker sees from above how the copses combine and conceal the cottages and orchards.

"murmur..."   (Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798)

The first piece of imagery the speaker recognizes is the sound of the River Wye as it flows from the mountains through the valley, which he likens to a “murmur.” The noun “murmur” describes a soft, indistinct, and continuous sound or utterance. Here, Wordsworth creates an auditory image of the River Wye as a quiet, constant accompaniment to the visually stimulating scenery around him. This murmur echoes throughout the following lines as Wordsworth employs alliteration of the “s” sound (“steep,” “secluded scene,” “seclusions,” and “sky”), evoking a sense of whispering and murmuring.

Analysis Pages