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 leaves in glee; A poet could not be but 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)
"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is usually considered Wordsworth’s most famous work. It was inspired on April 15, 1802 by an event in which Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, came across a "long belt" of daffodils around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the Lake District. Wordsworth was inspired by his sister’s writing about the encounter with the daffodils.
When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park, we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.
I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.
This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway. We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea.
— Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal , Thursday, 15 April 1802
Dear Warriors, as each traverses upon thy path may you carry the sun in a golden cup in thy pocket of thy herte just like the poet holds the daffodils in his memory.
Good night and good rest,
Scribe of Camelot