This autobiographical poem is written in blank verse by William Wordsworth. He wrote his first version at the age of 28 and continued it throughout his long life without publishing it. It was published three months after the poet’s death in 1850, and was titled by his widow Maria. It is not an external autobiography of the poet, but an internal autobiography. It has the record of the growth and development of the poet’s mind with the help of beauty and fear. In this poem, William Wordsworth recalls his childhood experience enriched by the magic of nature. For him, nature is the best teacher and under her teaching the growth of the soul, the heart and the mind occurs. So, she transcends man to spirituality.
In the first book of The Prelude, the poet tells of his childhood and his school days. He calls nature a mother, and every time he reaches the mother’s lap, he feels happy and as free as a bird. Besides, he lived in London, but his life seemed unnatural to him. The poet describes his contact with nature at the age of five. He always played with nature at Cockermouth. In Kankshead, he and his companions used to participate in a variety of games. In this book, he tells how he was raised and raised by the various ministries. Nature is a teacher to him, and under her teaching, he understood the rules and developed both spiritually and mentally. He agrees that his powerful weapons are pleasure and fear.
William Wordsworth acquaints us with his childhood and his wanderings. He very much enjoyed his long time bathing in the river. His long bath increased his pleasure and attraction to nature; because it has cold water with sweet color, rhythm and taste. The poet felt great joy playing with him. Sometimes he ran across the sandy fields and leaped through flowery graves. Sometimes he was alone under the blue sky among the enchanting rocks and hills that shone with the joyful rays of the sun. Under such innocent pleasure, he understood himself as a red Indian coming out of his mother’s hut to show off a naked savage in the rain of thunder. Bathing in the river and wandering in the company of valleys, hills and mountains gave him a healthy pleasure that helped him grow and develop his mind and soul. The poet remembers them because they link him to nature or the spiritual world. In addition, they bring him even more joy and pleasure, and the poet is able to express or write his inner autobiography.
In his childhood, he used to play different games with his peers. At the age of ten, he used to catch woodcocks on the high slopes of the hill under the moonlight and how he used to catch a bird that was caught in someone else’s trap. He was busy in actions so reluctant to nature. Nature observed him and excluded him from such unjust acts through fear. The poet felt someone gasping for breath following him continuously and persistently. His pursuit caused him an annoying fear and he avoided doing it again.
His other sport was stealing bird eggs. He, with his young friends, wandered in search of high hills and was sometimes found alone hanging over a crow’s nest. In those moments, he was faced with a strange and frightening sound of the wind blowing against the hill. The dark and gloomy sky and clouds used to be gigantic above with a hideous appearance. He felt pure trouble. One thing, I must admit why children like to steal eggs and play with them. Its main cause is the color of the eggs that really attracts children. The other is the nature that teaches the child through fear when he is alone. Simultaneously, nature pursues him and puts in his mind the fear that he will not repeat such events.
By stealing the ship, nature gives him pure trouble. He stole a boat and put it in motion on the lake. He saw his boat move like the charlatan on the lake. Other than that, he was traversing the mountains, which really gave him great pleasure. Suddenly, he heard the resounding sound of the mountain slopes because the teacher (nature) did not accept the action. Admitting it as a warning, he felt dismayed. Sometimes he would come across a huge black man raising his head from behind the range of hills. Nature, like a strange and horrible creature, with its will and its power, followed him without pause. In such consternation, he was taken to the same place from where he had stolen the ship. He was overwhelmed with fear and hurried home in a pensive mood. His mind was always haunted by forms so huge that they fed his soul with fear.
His other game was ice skating. Remember that he, in the company of other friends, skated through the trees and hills. Sometimes he would get away from friends and chase them. Accept that nature followed him when he was alone. The echo of the rising sounds of the skates from the surrounding trees and hills gave him innocent pleasure. I used to enjoy a lot in the lap of nature. He went round and round jovially. Such a company always excited him to understand the search for nature.
It is nature that allowed him to play on her lap and express his love for her. Although he was an adult, he did not forget those childhood revelries and memories that made this materialistic world easy and joyous with the touch of nature. His poems about natural objects show his gratitude.