I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984). bib MASS (Massey College Library, Toronto).
2That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
3When all at once I saw a crowd,
4A host, of golden daffodils;
5Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
6Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
7Continuous as the stars that shine
8And twinkle on the milky way,
9They stretched in never-ending line
10Along the margin of a bay:
11Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
12Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
13The waves beside them danced; but they
14Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
15A poet could not but be gay,
16In such a jocund company:
17I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
18What wealth the show to me had brought:
19For oft, when on my couch I lie
20In vacant or in pensive mood,
22Which is the bliss of solitude;
23And then my heart with pleasure fills,
24And dances with the daffodils.
1] Wordsworth made use of the description in his sister's diary, as well as of his memory of the daffodils in Gowbarrow Park, by Ullswater. Cf. Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, April 15, 1802: "I never saw daffodils so beautiful. They grew among the mossy stones . . .; some rested their heads upon these stones, as on a pillow for weariness; and the rest tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew upon them over the lake; they looked so gay, ever glancing, ever changing." For this reason, some readers will know this poem as "Daffodils," a title used, for instance, by Arthur Quiller-Couch in his edition, The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250.-1900 (1919): no. 530. Back to Line
21] Wordsworth said that these were the two best lines in the poem and that they were composed by his wife. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors:
J. R. MacGillivray