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The Search for Happiness in Nature

            In the 18th century, two important poets took part in the Romantic Movement, the two being William Wordsworth, and Samuel Coleridge. These two poets essentially set precedence to what Romantic prose and poetry should entail. In the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth describes poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings," and in addition details the influence nature has on him and his works. One of his most famous poems is "Tintern Abbey," where the speaker remembers nature and the overwhelming sense of happiness it still brings him. Almost instinctive of a Romantic Poet, Coleridge discusses the effect nature has on his happiness in "Frost at Midnight." The speaker in this poem hopes to find happiness in showing his infantile son everything that nature has to offer. Although both poems deal with the beauty and serenity of nature and the happiness it brings them, Wordsworth deals more with the meaning nature holds for him while Coleridge uses description to relate his relationship with nature. .
             In the poems "Tintern Abbey," and "Frost at Midnight," happiness is derived from the beauty of nature and the influence that beauty has on the speakers in the poems. Reading "Tintern Abbey," the speakers love for nature and the deep appreciation he has for the natural world are greatly emphasized. He finds him self a part of nature while standing there, "not only with the sense/ of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts/ that in [that] moment there [was] life and food/ for future years" (62-65). He looks to nature as a present source of happiness, but then the lasting impact nature has on him, will sustain him for many years to come. He is made whole by his experience with nature. Happiness is also connected to the speaker in "Tintern Abbey" by his returning to a place he has not visited in many years. This loved and distant place brings to him feelings of enlightenment and calmness.

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