Lines Left upon a seat in a Yew-tree

Unlike the reason and industrious way of Enlightenment writing, “Lines left upon a seat in a Yew-tree” focuses on the Romantic aspect of nature and solitude. The poem begins by describing a pure of heart man who is lured into nature. As the romantics express, the beauty in nature should be enough to save this man’s mind from vacancy. However, he becomes too prideful and is saddened “to think that others felt what he must never feel”. This move away from public and into the private sphere shows a major shift away from the Enlightenment sensibility. Additionally, the man is despaired by his loneliness in nature, with the poem ending in his death. It appears as if the author is saying you must take up nature’s work and through self-reflection you will be able to stay away from the mistakes of man and society.

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One thought on “Lines Left upon a seat in a Yew-tree

  1. I agree, privacy is a major contrast in this poem and I think what’s interesting is how the man sort of compares the beauty around him to that of the world and the “kindred loveliness.” He admires both the beauty of nature and the companionship that society can enjoy.

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