Poem of Quotes - Poetry, Quotations, and Relationships
Home > Poets > 18th Century > William Wordsworth > Yew-Trees by William Wordsworth Analysis & Poem

Yew-Trees by William Wordsworth

Analysis

"Yew-Trees" is a poem written by William Wordsworth. This poem is about a simple tree in the village of Lorton. The poem speaks about how wonderful the tree is and how it is seen as an important symbol for the towns-people. Today, the tree still stands; however, the tree was hit by a storm and has storm damage at its trunk. However, Wordsworth mentions "Huge trunks", because at the time of writing, the tree had a girth of 27-feet. The tree is at least 1,000 years old. The poem also mentions "United worship" and "altars undisturbed". Wordsworth uses these phrases not only as a metaphor for the tree but also as a symbold. Several well-known preachers have preached under the tree to soldiers and other large gatherings throughout the years.

"Yew-Trees" is written as a single stanza with 33 lines. The poem does not have a rhyme scheme. It is written in iambic-pentameter.

Poem

Yew-Trees
By 

There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Which to this day stands single, in the midst
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:
Not loathe to furnish weapons for the Bands
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched
To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea
And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Of vast circumference and gloom profound
This solitary Tree! -a living thing
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent
To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks! -and each particular trunk a growth
Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Up-coiling, and inveteratley convolved, -
Nor uninformed with Fantasy, and looks
That threaten the profane; -a pillared shade,
Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged
Perennially -beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked
With unrejoicing berries -ghostly Shapes
May meet at noontide: Fear and trembling Hope,
Silence and Foresight, Death the Skeleton
And Time the Shadow; there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship; or in mute repose
To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.

Next: Anecdote For Fathers