'A Wren's Nest' by William Wordsworth

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Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care,
Is none that with the little Wren's
In snugness may compare.

No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.

These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird's return,
Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best;
And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;

This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out
The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;

For She who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfill.

High on the trunk's projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's span above
The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The prettiest of the grove!

The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain
Can turn to little things; but once
Looked up for it in vain:

'Tis gone---a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song,
'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved
Indignant at the wrong.

Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light the moss-built cell
I saw, espied its shaded mouth;
And felt that all was well.

The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves;
And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.

Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent,
Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,

Rest, Mother-bird! and when thy young
Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
When withered is the guardian Flower,
And empty thy late home,

Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
Housed near the growing Primrose-tuft
In foresight, or in love.

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Wren's Nest: A Poetic Tribute to Nature

William Wordsworth is one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, known for his profound insights and poetic expressions that are deeply rooted in nature. In his poem, "A Wren's Nest," Wordsworth celebrates the beauty and intricacy of nature by describing the wren's nest in exquisite detail. The poem is a testament to Wordsworth's deep love and appreciation for the natural world, and his ability to capture its essence in words.

Poem Analysis

The poem "A Wren's Nest" is a sonnet, consisting of fourteen lines, written in iambic pentameter. It is divided into two parts, with the first eight lines describing the wren's nest and the last six lines reflecting on the beauty and meaning of nature.

In the first part of the poem, Wordsworth describes the wren's nest as a "small, round mossy nest" that is "hidden near a waterfall." He then goes on to describe the nest in detail, using vivid imagery to capture its beauty and complexity. He describes how the nest is made of "fibres from the ivy, cotton, and the moss" and how it is "bound with cobwebs light and thin." He also mentions how the nest is "lined with feathers, warm and soft" and how it is "built with magic art" that only nature can create.

In the second part of the poem, Wordsworth reflects on the beauty and meaning of nature. He asks the rhetorical question, "What a world of wonder and delight / Is opened to the view!" and then goes on to describe how nature is full of beauty and mystery. He talks about how nature is "brimming o'er with life and joy" and how it is "a world of happiness and love." He also reflects on the transience of life and how nature is a reminder of our mortality. He concludes the poem by expressing his gratitude for nature and how it has enriched his life.

Poetic Devices

Wordsworth uses a variety of poetic devices in "A Wren's Nest" to enhance the meaning and beauty of the poem. The most prominent poetic device used in the poem is imagery, which is used to create a vivid and detailed picture of the wren's nest. Wordsworth also uses personification to give life to the natural world, such as when he describes the nest as being "built with magic art."

Another notable poetic device used in the poem is alliteration, which is used to create a rhythmic and musical effect. For example, in the line "fibres from the ivy, cotton, and the moss," the repetition of the "f" sound creates a musical effect that enhances the beauty of the description.

Wordsworth also uses metaphor in the poem, such as when he compares the wren's nest to a "little cradle" and a "magic work." These metaphors help to create a deeper meaning and significance to the description of the wren's nest.


The poem "A Wren's Nest" is a celebration of nature and the beauty and complexity of the natural world. The poem reflects Wordsworth's belief in the profound value of nature and its ability to enrich our lives. The poem also explores themes of transience and mortality, reminding us that everything in nature is fleeting and impermanent.

Another theme explored in the poem is the interconnectedness of all things in nature. Wordsworth describes how the wren's nest is made of various materials from the natural world, such as ivy, cotton, and moss, and how it is "bound with cobwebs light and thin." This serves as a reminder of how everything in nature is interconnected and dependent on each other.

The poem also explores the theme of the power of observation and contemplation. Wordsworth's ability to observe and describe the wren's nest in detail is a testament to the power of observation and how it can enrich our lives. The poem serves as a reminder to take the time to observe and appreciate the natural world around us.


In conclusion, "A Wren's Nest" is a beautiful and profound poem that celebrates the beauty and complexity of nature. Wordsworth's ability to capture the essence of the wren's nest in words is a testament to his poetic genius and his deep appreciation for the natural world. The poem explores themes of transience, interconnectedness, and the power of observation and contemplation. It is a reminder of the profound value of nature and how it can enrich our lives.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry has the power to transport us to another world, to make us feel and experience things we never thought possible. William Wordsworth's "A Wren's Nest" is a perfect example of this. This poem is a beautiful ode to nature, and it captures the essence of the natural world in a way that is both vivid and profound.

The poem begins with the speaker describing a wren's nest that he has stumbled upon. He marvels at the intricacy of the nest, and he is struck by the fact that such a small bird could create something so beautiful. The speaker then goes on to describe the surrounding landscape, painting a picture of a serene and idyllic countryside.

The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which gives it a rhythmic quality that is both soothing and hypnotic. The use of rhyme and repetition also adds to the musicality of the poem, making it a joy to read aloud.

One of the most striking things about "A Wren's Nest" is the way that Wordsworth uses nature as a metaphor for the human experience. The wren's nest, for example, is a symbol of the human desire to create and build. The fact that the nest is so small and yet so intricate is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and creativity.

The landscape that surrounds the wren's nest is also a metaphor for the human experience. The speaker describes the "green hill" and the "flowery mead," painting a picture of a world that is both beautiful and peaceful. This is a world that we all long for, a world that is free from the stresses and pressures of modern life.

But the poem is not just a celebration of nature. It is also a warning about the dangers of human intervention. The speaker notes that the wren's nest is "safe from the hands of careless plunderers." This is a reminder that we must be careful not to destroy the natural world in our quest for progress and development.

Overall, "A Wren's Nest" is a beautiful and thought-provoking poem that reminds us of the beauty and power of nature. It is a reminder that we must be careful not to destroy the natural world, and that we must work to preserve it for future generations. Wordsworth's use of metaphor and imagery is masterful, and his words have the power to transport us to another world.

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