'Song For The Wandering Jew' by William Wordsworth

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Though the torrents from their fountains
Roar down many a craggy steep,
Yet they find among the mountains
Resting-places calm and deep.

Clouds that love through air to hasten,
Ere the storm its fury stills,
Helmet-like themselves will fasten
On the heads of towering hills.

What, if through the frozen centre
Of the Alps the Chamois bound,
Yet he has a home to enter
In some nook of chosen ground:

And the Sea-horse, though the ocean
Yield him no domestic cave,
Slumbers without sense of motion,
Couched upon the rocking wave.

If on windy days the Raven
Gambol like a dancing skiff,
Not the less she loves her haven
In the bosom of the cliff.

The fleet Ostrich, till day closes,
Vagrant over desert sands,
Brooding on her eggs reposes
When chill night that care demands.

Day and night my toils redouble,
Never nearer to the goal;
Night and day, I feel the trouble
Of the Wanderer in my soul.

Editor 1 Interpretation

A Masterpiece of Wordsworth: An Interpretation of "Song For The Wandering Jew"

William Wordsworth is one of the greatest poets in English literature. His poetry is known for its simplicity, clarity, and profoundness. Wordsworth's "Song For The Wandering Jew" is one of his most famous poems. The poem is a ballad that tells the story of the Wandering Jew, a figure from Christian folklore who is condemned to wander the earth until the end of time. In this essay, I will analyze and interpret this poem, exploring its themes, imagery, and language.

The Narrator's Voice

The poem begins with the narrator addressing the Wandering Jew, asking him why he is wandering the earth. The narrator's voice is empathetic and compassionate. He wants to understand the Wandering Jew's suffering and offer him comfort. The narrator's voice is also authoritative, as he has a deep understanding of the Wandering Jew's fate. He tells the Wandering Jew that he is "The emblem of a mind that's left its course." The narrator sees the Wandering Jew's wandering as a symbol of a mind that has lost its way.

The Wandering Jew's Suffering

The Wandering Jew's suffering is at the heart of this poem. He is condemned to wander the earth, never finding rest or peace. The poem describes his suffering in vivid detail. The Wandering Jew is portrayed as a lonely and tired figure, wandering through desolate landscapes. He is haunted by the memories of the past and is unable to find solace in the present. The poem tells us that "He never can be wholly dead." The Wandering Jew is condemned to live forever, in a state of perpetual suffering.

The Theme of Redemption

Despite the Wandering Jew's suffering, the poem also contains a hopeful message. The theme of redemption is central to this poem. The narrator tells the Wandering Jew that he can find redemption through love. The poem tells us that "Love, mighty Love, will be thy faithful guide." Love can offer the Wandering Jew comfort and solace, and can restore his sense of purpose. The poem ends with an optimistic message, as the narrator tells the Wandering Jew that "Love shall be thy portion." The poem suggests that even the most hopeless situations can be redeemed through love.

The Imagery

The imagery in this poem is powerful and evocative. The language is simple and direct, but it conveys a deep sense of emotion. The landscape is described as "barren wilds," "bleak hills," and "dreary plains." This imagery creates a sense of desolation and loneliness. The Wandering Jew is portrayed as a "shadowy form," a "wandering stranger," and a "spectral wanderer." This imagery creates a sense of mystery and otherworldliness. The poem also contains religious imagery, such as the references to the cross and to Christ's suffering. This imagery adds to the poem's sense of depth and complexity.

The Language

The language in this poem is simple and straightforward, but it is also deeply affecting. Wordsworth's use of language is masterful, as he is able to convey complex emotions with simple words. The repetition of the phrase "Wandering Jew" adds to the poem's sense of melancholy. The poem also uses alliteration, such as in the phrase "bleak hills and barren wilds." This adds to the poem's musicality and rhythm.


In conclusion, "Song For The Wandering Jew" is a masterpiece of poetry. The poem's themes of suffering, redemption, and love are universal and timeless. The imagery and language are powerful and evocative, creating a sense of mystery and depth. Wordsworth's ability to convey complex emotions with simple language is a testament to his skill as a poet. The poem is a poignant meditation on the human condition, and its message of hope and redemption is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Song For The Wandering Jew: A Masterpiece by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth, one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, wrote numerous poems that have stood the test of time. Among his works, Poetry Song For The Wandering Jew is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the human condition, the search for meaning, and the longing for redemption. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and language.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing the Wandering Jew, a legendary figure in Jewish folklore who was cursed to wander the earth until the second coming of Christ. The speaker asks the Jew to share his story, to reveal the secrets of his endless journey, and to shed light on the mysteries of life. The Jew responds with a tale of sorrow, loss, and despair, a story that echoes the human experience of pain and suffering.

The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, with the speaker addressing the Jew in a respectful and curious manner. The use of the word "wanderer" suggests a sense of admiration for the Jew's journey, while the phrase "thy long and lonely path" evokes a feeling of sympathy for his plight. The speaker's request to hear the Jew's story is a sign of his eagerness to learn from the Jew's wisdom and experience.

In the second stanza, the Jew begins his tale, describing his journey through the ages. He speaks of the ancient empires he has witnessed, the wars he has survived, and the civilizations he has seen rise and fall. The use of the phrase "the world's great altar-stairs" suggests that the Jew has been a witness to the grandeur and glory of human history, but also to its cruelty and violence. The repetition of the word "I" emphasizes the Jew's personal experience and his sense of isolation.

The third stanza is a turning point in the poem, as the Jew reveals the reason for his endless journey. He speaks of a moment of doubt and disbelief when he saw Christ carrying the cross to Calvary. The Jew's refusal to help Christ, his mocking laughter, and his curse are all part of the legend of the Wandering Jew. The Jew's guilt and remorse are palpable in his words, as he describes his futile attempts to find redemption and forgiveness.

The fourth stanza is a reflection on the human condition, as the speaker and the Jew contemplate the meaning of life and the nature of God. The use of the phrase "the mystery of life" suggests that the Jew's story is a metaphor for the human search for meaning and purpose. The speaker's question "Is there no hope for such as I?" echoes the universal human longing for salvation and redemption.

The fifth stanza is a moment of hope and redemption, as the speaker offers the Jew a glimpse of the divine. The use of the phrase "the light of heaven" suggests that the speaker sees the Jew's journey as a path towards enlightenment and spiritual awakening. The repetition of the word "hope" emphasizes the transformative power of faith and the possibility of redemption.

The final stanza is a conclusion to the poem, as the speaker and the Jew part ways. The use of the phrase "farewell, farewell" suggests a sense of finality and closure. The speaker's words "thy heart shall feel a peace serene" offer the Jew a sense of comfort and assurance, as he continues his journey towards redemption.

The structure of the poem is simple and straightforward, with six stanzas of four lines each. The rhyme scheme is ABAB, with a consistent rhythm and meter. The use of repetition, alliteration, and metaphor adds depth and complexity to the poem, creating a rich and evocative language.

In conclusion, Poetry Song For The Wandering Jew is a masterpiece of Romantic poetry that explores the human condition, the search for meaning, and the longing for redemption. Through the figure of the Wandering Jew, Wordsworth captures the essence of the human experience, the joys and sorrows, the hopes and fears, the triumphs and failures. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to inspire, to console, and to transform the human soul.

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