Oh! Mystery of Man: Poetry - Summary & Analysis

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Oh,! mystery of man, from what a depth
Proceed thy honours. I am lost, but see
In simple childhood something of the base
On which thy greatness stands; but this I feel,
That from thyself it comes, that thou must give,
Else never canst receive. The days gone by
Return upon me almost from the dawn
Of life: the hiding-places of man’s power
Open; I would approach them but they close.
I see by glimpses now, when age comes on,
May scarcely see at all; and I would give,
While yet we may, as far as words can give.
Substance and life to what I feel, enshrining,

Such is my hope, the spirit of the Past
For future restoration.


      In early days when Wordsworth roamed the same moorland, accompanied by his beloved sister, it seemed invested in golden light and exuded pleasure. So does feeling beget feeling and strength leads to strength. The feeling of fear inspired by the loss of his guide made the moorland appear dreadful while the feeling of pleasure that a loved-one by his side inspired, made it appear beautiful. It is a mystery from what deep and hidden recesses man’s greatness proceeds but it proceeds from within one’s self. Its foundation is laid in childhood. The child is father of the man.

      Oh! Mystery of Man, expresses Poet’s sublime feelings. He states: “The secret of human greatness springs forth from the depth of mind. Though at present I do not possess the light and power of the early days, yet I realize that, to a certain extent simple childhood forms the foundation of our spiritual greatness; but at the same time I feel that we must perceive imaginatively otherwise we cannot receive the delightful feelings. Now I have a vivid recollection of the days of childhood, which opens the reservoirs of human strength and greatness. I wish to have those hiding-places of power but they close. I can see them now and then, but I cannot have a steady view of them. When I grow older I may hardly see them. Therefore, now, when we are capable of having glimpses of them, I would like to preserve the great moments of that past, rather arrest them, in concrete images, so that in future, when I lose sight of the past, I may preserve my strength”.

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