By P Chong
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (also commonly known as “Daffodils” or “The Daffodils”)
I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
At the time of the poem, Wordsworth lived with his wife and sister at Dove Cottage, in Grasmere in England‘s Lake District.
A map of the Lake District (Cumbria) in England
As I fastrack into my college days in England, one of the most beautiful places that I visited & roamed is the Lake District to the north of Liverpool. In those days, we poor students hitch-hiked quite a lot in our travels. It was pretty safe & in this particular case, all it took was one hitch ride from Liverpool & we were completely in a world of paradise beauty. Such was the inspirational surrounds of the famed English poet William Wordsworth who penned the above beautiful “Daffodils” poem.
As seen from the above map, there are many lakes in the District & because of time restriction, it was not possible for me to visit them all. Among those that I still remember fondly are Lake Windermere (the largest of all), Grasmere & Derwent Water. In Lake Windermere, I had the greatest boating pleasure. I failed however to find the field of daffodils which inspired Wordsworth.
I fell in love with the place so much that I visited the location even on weekends or short breaks covering & capturing the changing beauty of the place with the coming & going of different seasons of the year. Spring & Summer were great times to be there for roaming the hills & vales; Winter & Autumn with its colourful foliage & fallen leaves. It was there I had the experience of watching salmons fighting their way up the rapids to the upper reaches for their seasonal spawning.
Accommodation was cheap & convenient then. Apart from the Youth Hostels, there were the Bed & Breakfast type of accommodation which provided more comfort than the former.
This is indeed a treasured corner of England. Let your imagination roam with some of these beauty shots below:
Northern Shore of L. Windermere
Hills & Vales to Roam – L. Windermere