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I Travelled among Unknown Men

I travelled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.

‘Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.

Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.

Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy’s eyes surveyed.

Word Notes

  1. melancholy: a feeling of sadness or depression.
  2. quit: to leave or depart from.
  3. cherished: deeply cared for or loved.
  4. turned her wheel: likely referring to spinning or working with a spinning wheel, which was a common domestic activity in the past.
  5. concealed: hidden or kept secret.
  6. bowers: a sheltered and pleasant place, often surrounded by trees or plants.
  7. surveyed: looked at or observed.

Explanation of the Poem

“I travelled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.”

The speaker describes his travels to foreign lands among unfamiliar people. It is during this time that he realizes the depth of his love for England, a realization he had not experienced until then.

“‘Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.”

Reflecting on a past experience or dream filled with melancholy, the speaker resolves not to leave England again. He expresses that his love for his homeland continues to grow stronger, reinforcing his decision to stay.

“Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.”

While surrounded by the mountains of England, the speaker experiences a profound sense of joy and fulfillment. He mentions a cherished person, Lucy engaged in household tasks near a cozy English fireplace.

“Thy mornings showed, thy nights concealed,
The bowers where Lucy played;
And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy’s eyes surveyed.”

The speaker praises England’s beauty, with mornings revealing enchanting places where a figure named Lucy used to play. The nights conceal these locations. He also mentions that the last green field Lucy ever saw belonged to England’s landscape.

Critical Summary of the Poem

“I Travelled Among Unknown Men” is a reflective and introspective poem penned by William Wordsworth, a prominent figure in the Romantic movement. The poem delves into the themes of solitude, nature, and the transformative power of memory. It can be viewed as a commentary on the poet’s personal experiences and his profound connection to the natural world.

The poem commences with the speaker’s assertion that he has traveled among unknown individuals, suggesting a sense of alienation and isolation from the people around him. However, the poem quickly shifts its focus to the speaker’s encounters with nature. Wordsworth’s love for nature is evident in his vivid descriptions and emotive language, as he expresses his joy in observing the natural world.

The poet’s encounters with nature become a catalyst for introspection and self-reflection. The speaker states that nature brings about a profound change within him, and he feels a sense of unity and communion with his surroundings. The peaceful and harmonious imagery in the poem reflects the speaker’s state of mind as he immerses himself in nature.

Wordsworth employs his signature technique of using memory as a transformative force. The speaker recounts moments from his past, particularly his childhood, which evoke strong emotions and a deep connection to the natural world. These memories serve as a source of solace and a means of escape from the complexities and uncertainties of the present.

“I Travelled Among Unknown Men” can be seen as a celebration of the restorative power of nature and the human capacity to find solace and meaning in the natural world. Through the speaker’s journey, Wordsworth highlights the transformative potential of memory, as well as the importance of reconnecting with nature to find inner peace and a sense of belonging.

MCQs & Answers from I Travelled Among Unknown Men

1. In which country did the speaker travel among unknown men?

A) England
B) France
C) Spain
D) Unknown lands beyond the sea

Answer: D) Unknown lands beyond the sea

2. What did the speaker discover about his love for England?

A) It remained unchanged throughout his travels.
B) It grew stronger during his travels.
C) It diminished during his travels.
D) It was non-existent before his travels.

Answer: B) It grew stronger during his travels.

3. What did the speaker experience in the mountains of England?

A) Fear and uncertainty
B) Joy and fulfillment
C) Loneliness and sadness
D) Confusion and disorientation

Answer: B) Joy and fulfillment

4. Who was turning a wheel beside an English fire?

A) The speaker
B) Lucy
C) Unknown men
D) England

Answer: B) Lucy

5. What did Lucy’s eyes last see?

A) Unknown men
B) Mountains
C) Green fields
D) England

Answer: C) Green fields

6. What did the speaker experience in unknown lands beyond the sea?

A) Love for England
B) Melancholy dreams
C) A sense of adventure
D) Fear and uncertainty

Answer: B) Melancholy dreams

7. Why does the speaker decide not to leave England again?

A) He has grown tired of traveling.
B) He has found love in England.
C) He has discovered unknown lands beyond the sea.
D) He has realized their dream of exploring mountains.

Answer: B) He has found love in England.

8. What did Lucy do beside an English fire?

A) Turned a wheel
B) Explored unknown lands
C) Watched the sunrise
D) Played in the mountains

Answer: A) Turned a wheel

9. What did Lucy’s eyes survey?

A) The last green field
B) Unknown men
C) England’s mountains
D) The sea beyond the shore

Answer: A) The last green field

10. What did the mornings and nights of England reveal?

A) Lucy’s hidden desires
B) The beauty of the mountains
C) England’s bountiful nature
D) The places where Lucy played

Answer: D) The places where Lucy played

11. How does the speaker’s love for England change over time?

A) It remains unchanged.
B) It diminishes.
C) It becomes stronger.
D) It disappears completely.

Answer: C) It becomes stronger.

12. What is the last green field that Lucy’s eyes saw?
A) A mountain landscape
B) An English garden
C) A field in unknown lands
D) The speaker’s homeland

Answer: A) A mountain landscape

13. What is the rhyme scheme of the poem?

a) AABB
b) ABAB
c) ABCB
d) ABBA

Answer: b) ABAB

14. Which line in the poem contains alliteration?

a) “I travelled among unknown men”
b) “What love I bore to thee.”
c) “A second time; for still I seem”
d) “Among thy mountains did I feel.”

Answer: c) “A second time; for still I seem”

15. Where does the imagery occur in the poem?

a) First stanza
b) Second stanza
c) Third stanza
d) Fourth stanza

Answer: d) Fourth stanza

16. How many stanzas are there in the poem?

a) 2
b) 3
c) 4
d) 5

Answer: c) 4

17. The poet travels beyond the sea in the company of

A) men
B) women
C) countrymen
D) unknown men

Answer : D) unknown men

18. The narrator feels the joy of his desire in England’s

A) valleys
B) rivers
C) fields
D) mountains

Answer : D) mountains

19. Lucy’s name appears in

A) first stanza
B) second stanza
C) third stanza
D) fourth stanza

Answer : D) fourth stanza

20.  Where did Lucy play?

A) Mountain
B) River
C) Field
D) Bower

Answer : D) Bower

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