The Famous Eastleach Daffodils

The words ‘Daffodils’ & ‘Eastleach’  go hand in hand with each other.  

Photographs by Andy Hill

As each new year begins to warm up, the village bursts into glorious spring colour, as the the daffodils lovingly planted by the villagers, put on their show.

Photographs by Andy Hill

Daffodils are celebrated in the most famous poem in the English language which was composed in 1804, two years after Wordsworth saw the flowers while walking by Ullswater on a stormy day with Dorothy, his sister. His inspiration for the poem came from an account written by Dorothy.

Photographs by Andy Hill

In her journal entry for 15 April 1802 she describes how the daffodils ‘tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind, that blew upon them over the lake.’ Wordsworth published his poem, I wandered lonely as a Cloud, in 1807. He altered it several times, and the final version, published in 1815, is simply a revision of the original, the new lines and vocabulary perhaps reflecting the changes in his lifestyle and where he saw himself in the social hierarchy.

Photographs by Andy Hill

Although Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ is one of the most famous and widely read poems in the English language, daffodils were probably not Wordsworth’s favourite flower. He wrote no less than three poems about the tiny Common Pilewort (Celandine) which blossoms in early spring.

Photographs by Andy Hill

First version of the Poem – I wandered lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: —
A poet could not but be gay
In such a laughing company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

Composed, 1804
Published, Poems in Two Volumes 1807

Photographs by Andy Hill

Second version of the Poem – I wandered lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:-
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

Published in Collected Poems, 1815

Photographs by Andy Hill
Photographs by Andy Hill
Photographs by Andy Hill
Photographs by Andy Hill
Photographs by Andy Hill
Photographs by Andy Hill

If you have any photos of Eastleach you would like to share, please send to steveandvince@outlook.com

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