William Wordsworth is the chief poet of Nature and his Tintern Abbey is one of the great masterpieces. This poem may be regarded as a record of the poet’s growth or of his spiritual development. In this poem we find the gradual development of the poet’s attitude towards Nature. In this poem the poet appreciated Nature through senses and finally he discovered the divine spirit in Nature and began to worship it for its inner meaning or significance.
Tintern Abbey is a faithful record of the poet’s different stage of his thought regarding Nature. His thought of Nature may be traced in three different stages. Through these stages the gradual development of the poets thought has been recorded inn this poem.
In the first stage, in his boyhood, Wordsworth felt a coarser boyish pleasure in the presence of Nature. At this stage, he had an animal pleasure in the beautiful scenery of Nature. He found pleasure in roaming about in the midst of Nature. Like a deer he flitted from place to place and ran races in a restless manner over the mountains, by the sides of rivers and streams wherever Nature led him. At this stage, the poets love for Nature is instinctive. His close contact with Nature as a child has enabled him to enjoy the coarse pleasure of childhood. Nature was the repository of boyish pleasure to him. At that time Nature was the source of coarser pleasure.
In the second stages, Wordsworth was in relationship with Nature physically. At this stage he loved only the sensuous beauty of Nature. The poet was enthralled by Natures enchanting physical loveliness. He felt a deep for the tall rocks, mountains and the jungle. At this stages, he experienced aching joys and dizzy raptures in his contact with Nature. But he had no philosophy of Nature. He loved only the sights and sounds of Nature. At this stages he cared only for the outward beauty of Nature, which he saw eyes and ears.
In the third and final stage, his love for Nature becomes spiritual and intellectual. The poet coming in close contact with the realities of life became able to hear in Nature the still sad music of humanity. Contemplation over human sufferings has chastened and humanized his soul. This made him able to find an eternal and between Man and Nature. The unintelligible mystery of the world has now been unveiled.
In this stage, the poet has gained a spiritual vision. The spiritual contemplation over Nature has disciplined his mind into a quite mood of mystic realisation. He feels the presence of a mysterious soul permeating all objects of Nature and the mind of ma.
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
Wordsworth emphasized the moral influence of Nature. He spiritualized Nature and considered her as a great moral teacher, as the best mother, guardian and nurse of ma. The poet believes that between Man and Nature there is a spiritual intercourse.
Now, to conclude it can be side beyond any dispute that Wordsworth’s main philosophy of life is Nature ad its influence on human life. The poem Tintern Abbey makes the most revealing document of Nature, philosophy and final testament of the soul’s journey from sensuous to the spiritual. The poem is a true reflection of the poet’s development of thought.