Ode: Intimations of Immortality - Summary & Analysis

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      “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of early childhood,” was written partly in 1803 and partly in 1806 at Townend. It was published in 1807. According to Wordsworth, “two years at least passed between the writing of the first four stanzas and the remaining parts.”

      This poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality, is an Ode, that is to say, a lyric, in the form of an address, dignified in style, feeling, and tone.

      Ode: Intimations of Immortality, is an irregular Ode because it is marked by lack of uniformity in meter and in the length of its stanzas. This is to say it is not written in the same meter throughout and that all of its stanzas do not consist of the same number of lines. The length of the stanzas varies from 9 to 38 lines. Thus stanzas I, II and VI consist of 9 lines each, whereas stanza XI consists of 38 lines.

      It is written mainly in the iambic meter. Some lines, however, are in anapaestic (meter in which each foot consists of three syllables, the first two of which are unaccented, and the third accented) and trochaic (meter in which each foot consists of two syllables, the first of which is accented and the second unaccented).


All Familiar Objects of Nature Seemed to be Invested with Heavenly Beauty and Charm

      The poet begins by saying that all familiar objects of nature like the meadows, the grove, and the stream, appears to be invested with heavenly beauty and charm in his childhood. He regrets that they are no longer so beautiful now that he has grown up.

      The rainbow, the rose, the moon, the starry sky, and the sunshine all appear to suggest that old glory has vanished from the world. Thus, of all birds, animals and creatures who are making merry in the spring season, the poet alone feels sad.

      He throws himself whole heartedly into the general spirit of the spring season. Certain objects of nature, however, remind him that he has lost the vision of childhood. Among such objects are, a particular field, and a particular flower which he had known in his childhood.

Doctrine of Pre-existence of the Soul

      The poet next gives expression to his belief in the doctrine of the pre-existence of the human soul. He feels that the child has a more glorious vision than man, because the former has recently come from heaven. The poet believes that the human soul leads an existence in heaven before it comes to earth. Man brings along with him a heavenly glory or a heavenly light, when he is born into this world. This heavenly glory becomes fainter and fainter as the child grows into the boy, the boy into the youth, and the youth into man.

The Earth Tries to Lure Man Away from Heaven

      The earth, by offering earthly pleasures and comforts to man, tries to lure him away from heaven. The earth, which may be called as the nurse of man, who may be described its foster child lavishes the love and affection of a mother upon the growing child.

The Child Tries to Imitate the Actions of his Elders

      Even while the child plays with his toys, he tries to imitate the actions of his elders. He arranges his toys in order to imitate happy and sad scenes of life. When he will grow up, he would learn the language which is used by businessmen, a lover or a fighter.

The Child is the Best Philosopher and a Seer Blest

      According to the poet, the child is the best philosopher and a seer blest, because he understands those spiritual truths which evade grown-up persons. The child is also aware of his immortality. It is, therefore, very strange that the child should lose sight of his spiritual heritage, and try to anticipate the slavery of social conventions, by desiring to grow up.

The Poet is Thankful to the Memories of Childhood

      The poet is thankful to the memories of childhood, not so much for the innocence, delights and freedom that is enjoyed by the child, but for those persistent doubts concerning the reality of the external world. These persistent doubts make man see through the veil of objective reality. This is to say that man is able to realize that all external or objective reality is a mere illusion (that is to say, it does not exist). The poet feels happy to think that even in manhood, in calm moments, we can realize that we come from, heaven, which is our real home.

Compensation for the Loss

      The poet thinks that his loss has been great, but that his compensation has been even greater. Thus though he has lost the vision of childhood he has gained in humanity and maturity. (That is why he has become more human and more mature than before.) In addition to this gain, he has developed a sympathy for his fellow men. He also feels sure that there is a life beyond this life, and that, as he grows, he will develop a philosophical outlook.

The Poet Appreciates Nature in a Different Mood

      The poet appreciates nature in a different mood. Instead, of the rapturous vision of childhood, his vision of nature now is marked by sobriety. He feels that he can perceive something nobler and wiser even in the humble and commonplace objects of nature.

The Doctrine of Pre-existence of the Human Soul

      There is no doubt that the poet seems to have borrowed the doctrine of pre-existence of the human soul from Greek philosophers like Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato. It is well-known that Pythagoras propounded the theory of the transmigration of soul. Plato in Phaedo dealt with the nature of death and the question of the immortality of the soul. Socrates is also supposed to have believed in the doctrine of pre-existence of human soul.

      Wordsworth himself has remarked in the preface to this poem. “Accordingly, a pre-existent state has entered into popular creeds of many nations, and among all persons, acquainted with class in literature, is known as an ingredient in Platonic philosophy.....When I was impelled to write a poem on the Immortality of the Soul. I took hold of the notion of pre-existence as having sufficient foundations in humanity for authorizing me to make for my purpose the best use of it I could as a Poet”.

The Poet might have Borrowed the Idea of the Poem from The Retreat by Henry Vaughan

      It is also possible that the poet might have borrowed the idea of the poem from The Retreat by Henry Vaughan (1622 to 1695). In this poem Henry Vaughan gives expression to the same thoughts concerning the pre-existence of the soul, and expresses the same views about the vision of childhood:

Happy those early days, when I
Shin'd in my angel infancy:
Before I understood this place
Appointed, for my second race
Or taught my soul to fancy aught
But a white celestial thought
When yet. I had not walked above
A mile or two from my first love
And looking back at that short space
Could see a glimpse of His bright face.

The Meaning of the Doctrine

      The doctrine of pre-existence suggests that human souls are in existence, possibly in a higher and better state, before they become united with the bodies, to which they are attached in this life. Further, that much of the best knowledge that a man attains is but recollection of truths known by the soul in its pre-existent state, or of the spiritual light of that heavenly home which we forsake at birth, and to which we shall return at death.

The Poem gives Expression to this Doctrine in Stanzas V to VIII

      The poem gives expression to the doctrine of pre-existence of the human soul in stanzas fifth to eight. In the fifth stanza, the poet says:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting
The soul that rises with us our life’s star
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.

      In the fifth stanza, the poet suggests how the earth tries to attract man away from heaven. In the seventh and eighth stanzas, the poet refers to the fact of the child’s anxiety to the poet which implies the child as a mighty prophet and a blest seer because he has recently come from heaven, and because he understands those spiritual truths which evade grown up persons.

      The poet thus tries to explain why the child has a more glorious vision than a grown-up person. The poet’s argument seems to be as follows:

      The human soul had a pre-natal existence in heaven. At that time it had a close contact with God. Memories of this heavenly contact invest everything, that the child sees on the earth, with a heavenly light; but as the child advances in years he loses sight of his spiritual heritage. He gets so much absorbed in the common activities of life that he almost forgets completely that his real home is heaven and not earth.


      (1) Lines 78-85: Earth fills her lap.....whence he came: The poet means the earth abounds with different kinds of pleasures and comforts which she offers to the child. Earth has desires which are of the same kind as herself. She entertains almost the same feelings for the child as a real mother does. Inspired by a very noble motive the earth tries her best to make her adopted child as her real child. The earth tries to make the child forget his spiritual heritage as well as the spiritual splendor which the child has previously experienced in heaven. Similarly, the earth tries to make the child forget heaven, which is the real home or parent of the child, and from where he comes into this world. The earth tries to offer earthly or worldly pleasures to him, so that he may forget his real home (heaven).

      (2) Lines 86-90: Behold the child among.....father’s eyes: The poet says that if we look at the child who is six years old and is small-sized, we will find that he is greatly pleased with his newly learned amusements. He is sitting in the midst of toys or objects which he himself has arranged in order to represent his own scheme or idea of life. He feels annoyed when he is disturbed by the kissing of his mother as he is busily engaged in his play, and as his father looks at him fondly and lovingly. (The poet suggests here, that as soon as the child is about six years old, he forgets his spiritual heritage and begins to take interest in earthly or worldly things. He plays with toys which represent his own idea of earthly existence. He is so much absorbed in his play that he resents the interruption of his mother’s kisses.)

      (3) Lines 94-99: But it will not.....palsied age: The poet means that the child will give up his previous amusement a little later and will, with new zest and vanity, undertake to play the part of a mature actor. He will reenact from time to time the parts of persons from different stages of life down to the part of an old man suffering from paralysis. The child would try to exhibit all the humors of mankind, that is, their whims, follies, and odd manners, by imitating the actions of the grown-ups. (The poet suggests, of course, that the child would like to imitate the actions of a young man, or middle-aged men and old men. He would play the role of men suffering from all types of whims and caprices).

      (4) Line 109-113: Them whose extension semblance the.....eternal mind: The poet means that outward appearance or the size of the child is not a true index to the spiritual superiority or greatness possessed by the child. The child is the best philosopher because he still retains his spiritual inheritance (he still remembers that his real home is heaven from which he had recently come). The child is a seer or a prophet living amongst the grown-up people who are spiritually ignorant or blind. Though the child is deaf and silent, yet he can understand the profound mysteries of eternity (past, present and future). The child is constantly visited by the vision of God or heaven.)

      (5) Lines 115-118: Mighty prophet.....darkness of the grave: The poet regards the child as a great prophet and a blessed seer. He thinks that the child possesses all those spiritual truths which human beings struggle all their lives to discover. Human beings cannot discover those truths because they wander in the land of spiritual darkness, which is a dark as the grave. (The poet compares the child with the grown-up persons. He thinks that the former is conscious of the spiritual truths, of the fact that soul leads a prenatal existence in heaven. The grown-up people are unconscious of these truths. Being ignorant, the grown-up people cannot attain the knowledge of great spiritual truth which the child understands).

      (6) Lines 119-121: Thou over whom...put by: The poet means that the child regards death only as a stage in the continuous journey of the human soul. The human soul waits for a short time in the grave which is devoid of light and warmth, before it proceeds to heaven which is its real home. The poet suggests here that death is not the end of life. In other words, there is a life beyond death. The soul after waiting for sometime in the grave returns to heaven. Thus there is a life beyond this life. The soul is immortal. The body may perish but the soul cannot, because the soul returns to heaven after the body perishes.

      (7) Lines 122-126: Thou little child.....strife: Addressing the child, the poet says that the child is in the heyday of his glory and he still is conscious of the freedom from worldly bondage that he enjoyed in heaven. The poet asks the child why the latter should make such anxious efforts to invite age (that is to grow up) and thereby bind himself in the chain of worldly desires and worries and troubles. The poet feels that the child is unconsciously working against his own happiness by trying to grow up and bind himself in the chain of worldly desires and worldly troubles. The poet suggests, here, that the child foolishly anticipates the bondage or slavery of worldly desires. He forgets that while he was in heaven he was free from all these worldly desires and troubles. He deliberately tries to imitate the actions of adults and thereby he reveals his anxiety to grown-up people. He does not know that when he grows lip he will not be able to enjoy freedom from worldly desires and troubles (but he will be bound in chains of worldly desires which will bring him unhappiness and which will also deprive him of the freedom which he enjoyed in heaven.)

      (8) Lines 127-129: Full soon thy soul.....almost as life: The poet means that the child will very soon have his full share of earthly sorrows, troubles and misfortune. Social conventions will hold him in their grip. These social conventions would be as thick as frost and as profound as life itself. They will bind him in chains, cloud his vision and make his life miserable. (The poet here warns the child that he should not be very anxious to grow up. He informs the child that when the latter grows up, he will have to suffer from a number of worldly sorrows. He will be bound up in chains of social ties which would oppress and overpower him, and he will never be able to escape from the bondage or slavery of such conventions and customs.)

      (9) Lines 130-133: Oh joy—so fugitive: The poet means that it is a matter of great joy that even when in our manhood we become totally unaware of our spiritual heritage, we still retain some memories of the same, although the fact of our having come from heaven, escapes our grasp, (The poet suggests here that even in our maturer years we keep alive the same old spark of divinity, that is to say, we remember that actually, our real home is heaven, and not the earth on which we live.)

      The poet says that the memory of the period of childhood inspires in him a state of constant happiness. He, however, does not feel grateful to, nor does he praise, those things which are otherwise worthy of being praised, namely, perfect happiness and freedom of the years of childhood, the simple faith of the child who is always inspired by some new hope which stirs in his heart. (The poet suggests in these lines that the period of childhood has its blessing like happiness, freedom, simplicity and hope, but he is not grateful to the period of childhood for the sake of these blessings so much as he is grateful to this period for some other things which he mentions in the lines that follow. He values these blessings of the period of childhood but he values some other things even more than these blessings.)

      (10) Lines 142-143: But for those obstinate questioning.....outward things: The poet is thankful not so much for the simplicity and innocence of childhood as for the persistent doubts that assail our minds with regard to the existence of the objects of external nature. The poet means that inspired by the memories of the period of childhood, and remembering that we come from heaven which is our real home, we persistently doubt whether those things which we perceive through the sense are real. He suggests, of course, that during the moments when we doubt the reality of earthly things we see through the veil of material or worldly reality. We realize that these external things seen by the senses are not real. In other words, whatever we see is an illusion or Maya. The poet is expressing here a view which resembles the Hindu Vedantist philosophy. According to Vedantists, all those things which we see in this world are unreal. Thus Vedantists look upon the whole world of all objective reality as Maya or mere illusion.

      (11) Lines 147-48: High instincts.....thing surprised: The poet means that during his reflective moods when he realizes how the external world is unreal, the lofty instincts of the period of childhood make his baser or sinful nature tremble before them, just as a criminal begins to tremble when he is caught red-handed. The poet suggests that the noble emotions and lofty instincts of the period of childhood make a man realize how base or ignoble he is. In other words, when man compares his own low and ignoble instincts with the high and noble emotions of childhood, man feels guilty, and begins to tremble like a guilty person who has been caught in the process of committing a crime.

      (12) Lines 149-153: But for those.....Our seeing: The poet says that he is grateful to the period of childhood because the memory of the inborn feelings of the period of childhood is the source of all our joy in life and because it is the guiding star of all our perceptions and beliefs. The poet means that the earthly light shows us the earthly objects; but the heavenly light reveals what lies beyond the earthly vision, thus, he calls the memory of the period of childhood as the fountain of all spiritual light. During childhood the child is nearer heaven and, therefore, he has a vision of his divine origin. The memory of this vision of childhood proves to be the source of all our joy.

      (13) Lines 156-161: Truths that wake.....abolish or destroy: The poet means that these spiritual truths, once they are understood by man, create a permanent impression for all future times. They cannot be removed from the state of our memory either by laziness or by our furious pursuit of worldly pleasures. Similarly, they cannot be removed either by youthful waywardness or by manly preoccupations, or by numerous cares and anxieties of life which, run counter to happiness. (The poet means, of course, that once a man realizes great spiritual truths concerning his divine origin, he can never forget them. Whether he is lazy or is furiously pursuing pleasure of life, whether he is an irresponsible boy or a busy man, he does remember these truths. Nor can these truths be abolished or destroyed by the numberless cares and anxieties of life which are working against our happiness in life.)

      (14) Lines 162-168: Hence in a season.....waters rolling evermore: The poet in these lines employs a metaphor. He says that just as a person who is standing far away from the shore can hear the sound of the waters and the waves of the sea, similarly in calm and reflective moments human beings can catch sight of the immortal sea waters of life which brought them into the world. They can, through their imagination, go to the shore of this immortal sea and see the waves and waters of this sea. (The poet suggests here that though human beings are farthest from heaven or the immortal and eternal sea of life, yet in their calm and reflective moments, they can realize that they have come from heaven. When they do so they have the same mind as children have. Like children, again, they can visualize that heaven is their real home).

      (15) Lines 182-183: In the primal sympathy.....must ever be: The poet means that he will be satisfied with the thought that early sympathy for nature which he felt in childhood, continues to inspire him even in his maturer years. In other words, the interest which he took in nature, when he was a child, has not abated or grown less, when he has advanced in years. In simple words, the poet says that he would continue to love nature.

      (16) Lines 184-185: In the soothing thoughts.....human sufferings: The poet here refers to the all-embracing human sympathy for our fellow men. The idea is that the sorrows of life teach us patience and an appreciation of the miserable lot of our fellow men. In other words, when we suffer we develop the quality of patience, and we begin to sympathize with our fellow human beings in their miseries. So long as we do suffer we remain selfish, haughty and proud. Suffering teaches us humility, and patience. It also teaches us the quality of sympathy.

      (17) Lines 180-187: We will grive.....bring the philosophic mind: In these lines the poet refers to his gain which has compensated him for the loss of the vision of childhood. He feels that he need not lament the loss that he has suffered, rather he should feel satisfied with the gain that he has obtained. This gain lies in four things. Firstly, in the interest in nature which he felt during childhood and which he will continue to feel in his maturer years. Secondly, it lies in the all-embracing sympathy for his fellow men. This sympathy he has learned from human suffering. Thirdly, it lies in his firm belief that man’s soul is immortal and that there is a life beyond death. Fourthly, this gain lies in the fact that as the poet has advanced in years, he has developed a philosophical outlook on life.

      (18) Lines 197-199: The clouds that...man’s mortality: The poet says that now the clouds which gather round the setting sun appear to him somewhat solemn and subdued in their colors, because of the fact that the poet has realized that man is mortal. This is to say that the realization of human suffering has made the poet more sober and serious now. He, therefore, does not appreciate nature in a delightful or rapturous mood, but in a serious and sober one. The poet refers in these lines to his experience of human sufferings, like deaths etc. and expresses the view that now he has become more sober and reflective than he used to be during his childhood.

      (19) Lines 201-204: Thanks to the human heart.....too deep for tears: The poet says that owing to human feelings of sympathy and love which make our life worth-living, and owing to human qualities like affection, joy and fear, he has developed a philosophical outlook. He can now perceive something noble and wise even in the humblest and most common-place objects of nature. The poet means, of course, that even the most ordinary objects of nature have a deeper and a more profound meaning or significance for him now. They reveal to him, perhaps, that all objects of nature are pervaded by the spirit of God and are thus worthy of being worshipped. Or, may be the humble objects of nature suggest to him that she is invested with a moral or a tragic purpose. The poet, thus, looks upon nature in a different mood and light. He is not simply fascinated by the outward beauty of the different objects of nature. Rather, they inspire in him a profound train of thought. He begins to reflect how all nature is the embodiment of the divine spirit.


Introduction: Wordsworth’s View of Nature

      The theme of the poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality, is the contrast between the rapture of the poet’s earlier contact with nature, and his more sober and meditative enjoyment of her in his maturer years. The poet begins by telling us that he used, to enjoy the various objects of nature through the senses in his childhood. This is to say, that he appreciated the familiar objects of nature, like the meadow, the grove, and the stream for their sound, color or sight. Referring to this he says:

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled, in celestial light.
The glory and the freshness of dream.

      The poet, during his childhood, did not read any deeper or inner meaning into nature. He loved and admired nature for its external beauty or outwards loveliness. He had not experienced any human suffering, nor had he developed a serious and sober attitude towards life then. He was content to take delight in the sound and color of beautiful objects of nature.

He began to Enjoy Nature in a more Sober and Reflective Manner when he Advanced in Years

      The poet began to enjoy nature in a more sober and reflective manner as he advanced in years. Instead of appreciating nature sensuously (through the senses) he began to read a moral and a spiritual meaning into nature. This is to say, he felt that nature had a message for him. Nature could convey to him great truths which had remained hidden from him during the period of his childhood. Referring to this fact, he says in the last stanza of the poem:

I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your habitual sway.
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch over man’s mortality:
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.

      In the above-quoted lines, the poet refers to the difference between his enjoyment of nature in his earlier and maturer years. He suggests that in his manhood he goes to nature in a different mood. His appreciation of nature is more sober, refined, and restrained. He has been pondering over the fact that man is mortal, and thus, the setting such reminds him of the mortality of man.

      A little further in the same stanza (XI) he says that he can perceive something noble or and wiser even in the humble and common-place objects of nature:

To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Its Central Idea and its Lack of Universal Appeal

      The poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality, contains a metaphysical doctrine, i.e., the theory that the memories of our childhood inform us of a life before birth and therefore of the immortality of soul. The truth of the doctrine cannot be verified by us from our experiences. Thus the poem lacks that universal appeal which is necessary for its enjoyment by the average reader. It may by mentioned, however, that Wordsworth himself does not assert this doctrine of reminiscence to be true. He took hold of it as having sufficient foundation in humanity and therefore worthy of being used by a poet.

The Idealization of the Child

      The idealization of the child though defensible on the ground of the purity and innocence of childhood is not justified on the ground of its spirituality or prophetic quality. To address the child as a ‘might prophet’, ‘seer blest’, ‘best philosopher’ is too much. Coleridge also criticized the poem on this account. The address to childhood, though full of sincerity and feeling, has no reality about it.

The Psychology of the Child

      Wordsworth has very vividly described the psychology of the child The child is an imitator, an actor who performs all parts, who copies every action and gesture that he sees.

Autobiographical Element

      The poem is mainly autobiographical and reminiscent of the poet’s past life. The radiance and glory of nature, which he declares as having seen in his childhood, were a part of his own personal experience, while he also felt the unreality of the outward objects to which he refers. We have his own statement in support of this.

Lyrical Element

      Although the Ode contains a metaphysical doctrine, yet there is in it a deep and sincere personal emotion which gives it a lyrical character. The first four stanzas in which the poet expresses his sense of lose and the last two stanzas where he refers to the compensations which make him happy are intensely emotional and possess a musical quality. Thus the Ode becomes a happy blending of thought and emotion, of doctrine and poetry and of meditation and melody. Metaphysical poetry reaches its height here because of its singing quality and lyric intensity. “In this Ode, the author’s gifts for lyrical and for metaphysical verse become perfect and are for once united”. Notice the melody, emotion, sincerity and simplicity of the following lines:

“It is not now as it hath been of yore:
Turn wheresoever I may,
By night or day
The things which I have seen I now can see no more”.

A Moral View

      A moral view has been expressed in the Ode: Intimations of Immortality. The poet refers to human suffering which he has witnessed and the sympathy which he feels for his fellow human-beings.

The Sober Close

      The sober close of this great Ode has been compared to the close of a splendid evening. In other words, the reflective mood of the poet deepens in the last stanza. No one can remain untouched by the restful and soothing effect of the music at the close.


      The poet has used such rhythmic and effective phrases that many of them are now commonly employed in the English language. A really gifted author alone can make such phrases—‘the glory and the freshness of a dream’, ‘shades of the prison-house’s, ‘our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting’, ‘the light of common day’, ‘custom heavy as frost and deep as life’, ‘thoughts too deep for tears’. As a matter of fact, the words used to express thoughts and emotions in this poem are very appropriate. The grandeur of language befits the grandeur of the theme. There is, thus, a perfect harmony between thought and expression. “Words, thought and music are woven into a perfect whole”. The poet has cast aside the artificial, stale language of the eighteenth century.

Defects in the Poem

      According to some critics, the poem suffers from four defects:

(1) There is a sudden transition in thought after the first four stanzas of the poem. The reason is obvious because the first four stanzas were written in 1803 whereas the last seven in 1806.

(2) The poem verges on the sentimental where the poet idealizes the child by calling him “might prophet” and “seer blest”. Very few thinkers now-a-days agree with the poet in the truth of this statement. It appears very absurd to believe that a child has a deeper insight into external nature and understands its significance better than a grown-up person.

(3) The poem dwells too long on the idea of pre-existence. This fact mars the unity of thought.

(4) The poem is out of harmony with the spirit of true nature.


      Whether we agree or not with the philosophical views expressed by the poet in this poem, we have to admit that this Ode is his supreme lyrical achievement. His personal feelings find a natural, inspired, and spontaneous expression in this Ode. According to Saintsbury, “this poem is, if not in every smallest detail, yet as a wholly perfect and immortal. It could not have been written better”.

      Emerson called this poem, “the high water-mark of poetry in the nineteenth century”. C. H. Herford says about this poem: “In this Ode, he wrestles with the fact that the rapturous vision of his own childhood has faded; but finds that maturity has its compensation in the obstinate questionings, in quickened human sympathy, and in the growth of the philosophic mind”. Douglas Bush makes the following comment on this poem: “The poet begins with a lament for his loss of sensuous experience, a loss that seems to leave him a dead thing in a world of life and beauty; but he goes on to recognize compensation age has brought—his growth, in maturity and humanity, his deeper understanding of man’s joys and sorrows and of the oneness of man and nature”.

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