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She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways by William Wordsworth

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By William Wordsworth

She dwelt among the untrodden ways

Beside the springs of Dove,

A maid whom there were none to praise

And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone

Half-hidden from the eye!

--Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be;

But she is in her grave, and oh

The difference to me!


The poem starts with the writer introducing the "she" or the female character in the line "She dwelt among the untrodden ways". She there is thematized since it's in the beginning of the line. "Dwelt" is the past tense of dwell which means to reside or to live and have a home in a particular place. The line means that the woman was living in places where no one passes along. It may also mean that she haven't socialized with people since she didn't have any company in these untrodden ways. "beside the springs of Dove" is a continuation of the first line. It qualifies the place where the woman could be found. A "spring" is water emerging from underground or a source of water that flows out of the ground as a small stream or pool. Since "Dove" is capitalized, it means that the word is a proper noun. Dove then is the name of the woman's dwelling place. The following line says "A Maid whom there were none to praise And very few to love". "A" is an indefinite pronoun used to indicate somebody not personally known, but known of. "Maid" there is thematized because it's in the beginning and capitalized for emphasis since it refers to the She from the first line. Although it's capitalized, it cannot refer to a proper name because of the preposed indefinite pronoun that indicates its modified word to be not personally known but known of. "Praise" means admiration, applause, or compliment. Since this line qualifies further the subject Maid (or She from the first line), it indicates that the maid was not admiring anyone and loved a few which is obviously because no one mingles with her. The second stanza starts with the line "A violet by a mossy stone" which still refers to the She. There is still the indefinite pronoun A but this time, the woman is compared to a kind of flower or the "violet", the state flower of Illinois which usually grows wild, and could always be seen in early spring. The flower is mentioned as found by a mossy stone, which means that its beauty was hardly noticed since there's the stone partially covering it one way or another. The following line is "Half-hidden



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