There in a meadow by the river side,

 There  in a meadow, by the river side,

A flocke  of Nymphs I chaunced to espy,

All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,

With goodly greenish locks, all loose untyde

Reference:-The above stanza is taken from the poem ‘Prothalamion’ by Edmund Spenser, written in 1595.

Content:-The poem is a wedding description of Elizabeth and Katherine Somerset, the daughters of the ‘Earl of Somerset’. The poet termed the word Prothalamion from ‘Epithalamion’ (wedding song), unlike Epithalamion (which celebrates a wedding), Prothalamion in contrast is more like a political event of that period. Therefore, the poem Prothalamion meditates the relationship between marriage, nature and politics.


Explanation:– In a meadow by the river, I saw a group of nymphs (the mythological daughters of the river). The given stanza describes the beauty of brides i.e. Elizabethan and Katherine, describing their hair, poet says that their loose untied locks (curly hair) adds beauty to the bride. Each of them was carrying a wicker basket woven from twigs and full of flowers that they’d gathered from the meadow.

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

A savage place! As holy and  enchanted

as ever beneath a wanning moon was hunted

by  woman wailing  for her demon – lover!

Reference:- This mysterious and enchanting stanza is a piece of the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ by S.T. Coleridge, one of the  most fragmentary writers of romantic age.

Context:– Kubla khan is an imaginative delusion of S.T. Coleridge, it is a dream fiction in which a Mongolian ruler asks his soldiers to built a palace in Xanadu (a capital) which will be full of natural beauty like ; hills chasm, beautiful flowers and river Alph.

Explanation:- The chasm cuts a path “athwart a cedarn tree  cover”, which means that entire hillside is covered in cedar trees, and the river is violent and uncontrollable completely unlike those poky little rills we heard about. The poet has used many exclamation marks to show his excitement like; cedarn cover! a savage place! and demon lover!  and the woman and demon lover and that ‘wanning moon’, according to the poet maybe the woman has haunt this place, maybe she has been cursed or has a spell cast on her and she has fallen in love with an evil spirit, all these images are very intensely written by Coleridge which gives us a little glimpse of a whole new story.

Church Going Imp. RTC

Move forward, run my hand around the front.

From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-

Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know : I don’t.

Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few

Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce

“Here endeth” much more loudly than I’d meant.

The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door

I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,

Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Reference:-  These erotic lines have been taken from the poem “Church Going” written by Philip Larkin in 1954  and published in 1955.

Context:-  The poem ‘Church Going’ describes the curiosity and experience of the poet while visiting to the Church. The language of the poem is conversational and in the form of interrogation. It says that why people need to worship? Why they need to go to the worship places? It also explores the issue of the Church on the basis of religion. Also, the title of the poem interprets different aspects of religious matter, as the act of going to the Church, the customs that keep the Church alive, and visiting the Church etc.

Explanation:- In the given lines, the narrator commands himself to move forward; he touches something, but still appears to feel nothing. He notices that the roof is semi—new and has been restored or just cleaned? If it was just cleaned then it means that there is probably a caretaker hired to look after the Church, but if it was restored that means the people actually care about this place and it isn’t as abandoned as the narrator perceives. The clumsy narrator doesn’t care enough to know whether it was cleaned or restored, because it is no consequence to him, he doesn’t believe in God or Church. He steps up to the lectern as if he is the priest about to give a sermon. He peruses the “hectoring large-scale verse”. He ends his sermon with “here endeth”, which is the traditional way to wrap up a Bible reading in Church. Echoes are personified, echoes cannot snigger.

The echoes snigger at his mistake of saying “here endeth” too loudly and at the irony of what he says. He goes to the rear of the Church and signs the guestbook; thus, taking part in religion, he donates an Irish sixpence, which has no value in England. Donating valueless coinage to Church can be interpreted in two ways first, he donates to show his disrespect for religion or second, that donating to the Church has no value.

The rhyme of the poem is in iambic tetrameter and it’s rhyming scheme is ABABCDECE, and the theme of the poem is based on religious aspects.

Tintern Abbey Imp. RTC

These hedge- rows, hardly hedge- rows, little lines,

Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,

Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke

Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!

Reference:- The given extract has been taken from William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey” published in 13 July 1798.

Context:-Tintern Abbey” also known as Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, the poem describes about William Wordsworth’s second visit in Tintern Abbey in July 13, 1798, after five years of his first visit i.e. in 1793. This poem opens with the description of speaker’s declaration that five years have passed since he last visited this location, where he encountered its tranquil rustic scenery and heard the murmuring sound of the river. His first visit to the bank of the river Wye in 1793 was still fresh in his mind while writing this poem.

Explanation:-  These lines describes the second visit of the poet in Tintern Abbey, the lines says that the poet surely wants to emphasise the fact that he’s seen all this before. The “hedge-rows”, or planted rows of shrubbery used to mark property lines or the edge of a field, look like “little lines” from his vintage point. He also describes the hedge-rows as “supportive wood run wild”, which seems odd, given that hedges are planted to keep things in order, so that the fields won’t ‘run wild’.

The narrator then points out all the farmhouse he can see and then the little “wreaths of smoke” appearing here and there from the woods. There are signs of human life here too. But no sounds of human life, the smoke goes up “in silence”. Apparently, the only sound he can hear from his vantage point come from the “mountain springs”. The farms that poet describes here are, “pastoral” which is interesting because the word “pastoral” can refer either to shepherds, the countryside where shepherds are likely to live or to poetry about the shepherds.

Charles Burney once complained that the poem “Tintern Abbey” was tinctured with gloomy, narrow and unsociable ideas of seclusion from the commerce of the world, as if men were born to live in the woods and wilds, unconnected with each other.

The poem begins with an iambic pentameter and is written in blank verse, the length of the lines and the stanzas vary throughout the text that has irregular form of Pindaric.

Intimations of Immortality Imp. RTC

O joy! That in our embers

Is something that doth live,

That nature yet remembers

What was so fugitive!…

Reference:- The above lines have been taken from the work “Intimations of Immortality” from the Recollection of Early Childhood. This poem is an Ode: Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth composed in 1802 and partly in 1804.

Context:-  The poem describes about the year of 1802, when the poet was facing a spiritual crisis, and the ‘visionary’ experiences that he had come across as an adolescent and as a young man, which was the source of his ‘deepest illuminations’ that were gradually losing their shine and glory. This poem gives an expression to the poet’s spiritual crisis, and the causes of his lost glory and an answer to the poet’s problem.

Explanation:- In the given lines, Wordsworth exclaims his appreciation for his youthful admiration of nature, and there is a shift from lamenting the loss of the youthful joy brought forth by nature to being empowered by it. He experiences a surge of joy at the thought that his memories of childhood will always grant him a kind of access to that lost world of instinct, innocence and exploration.

Also, the poet manages to reconcile the emotions and questions he has explored throughout the poem. He realizes that even though he has lost his awareness of the glory of nature, he had it once, and can still remember it. The memory of nature’s glory will have to be enough to sustain him, and he ultimately decides that it is. Anything that we have, for however short a time, can never be taken away completely because it will forever be held in our memory.

The poet uses irregular form of the Pindaric ode, and the length of the lines are vary throughout the text and the poem begins with an iambic metre.