'…That floats on high o'er vales and hills…' This famous poem by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was inspired by the spring flower, the yellow or golden daffodil.

a bunch of daffodils


Do the Preparation task first. Then go to Text and read the poem or story (you can also listen to the audio while you read). Next go to Task and do the activity.

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I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

by William Wordsworth

I wandered 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 stretched 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.

William Wordsworth

Task 1

After you have read the poem...

Wordsworth's poem is made up of four stanzas. Each stanza contains six lines, a quatrain followed by a couplet. The rhyming scheme is ABABCC.

In the activity below, the lines of each of the verses have been jumbled up.

Using your memory of the poem, your understanding, and the clues provided by the rhyming scheme, can you rearrange the lines into the correct order?






In response to reading 'lest the spell be broken.' I want help to understand whether we use 'may' in the structure with 'lest' or not? and if we use it then which one is correct:
a) lest may I be lost...
b) lest I may be lost...
c) lest I should be lost...

Hello Zeeshan Siddiqii,

'Lest' is an old form of 'unless' and we generally do not use modal verbs after 'unless', just as we do not after 'if'. It is possible to use a modal verb for rhetorical effect in certain contexts, particularly in very formal literary contexts where an old-fashioned tone is desired. The word order then would be normal sentence word order, making (a) incorrect.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks. Please also let me know if your reply is about the 'lest' meaning "in order to prevent something from happening" such as in the example "Lest anyone should doubt my story, I have brought documents to attest to its truth."?

Hello Zeeshan,

The sentence you mention here is not one that you would likely encounter nowadays outside of a very formal or incredibly specific context, in which it would be used to have an effect well beyond ordinary communication of the idea. In this kind of context, 'should' can be used, as Peter explains, for rhetorical effect, which would make sense given the extraordinary circumstances using the word 'lest' would likely imply.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi louis its me venuri sirinika.this poem inspired me to be more creative in writing and it opened the doors to me to think and organize more carefully when i write essays.

Am I a romantic?
Maybe.... because I empathise this famous poem. Despite the words "lonely" and "solitude", the poem doesn't sound kind of sad, nay it gives us a sense of joie de vivre. Beautiful poem!

Beneath my feet, sparkling flowers were laughing cheerfuly in the morning sun
Looking up at the sky, the white fly high crescent was mooning at me, being shoved to the distance by the glare of the sun. :)))

I love poems and writing poems here is a few poems of mine,
                                           I saw you
one day the sun hes smiled at you
you closed your eyes
i was there, too
i saw your eyes
the sun lighted your heart
i saw your heart
you didn't see me..
it was night
you looked at the stars
you lighted the night
the stars envied you
i looked at you
i looked at the stars
i saw us
i saw love

that's cool . I love english love poem. Will u send ur love poems for me ?