Short Poem For 5 Year Old To Learn About Love Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman

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Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman

The purpose of “Simon Lee” seems to be to defend the instinctual character of the emotion of gratitude against Godwin’s utilitarian rationalism. Godwin represented it (gratitude) as an unjust and humiliating sentiment, originating in the unequal distribution of wealth, influence, etc.

Wordsworth’s poem “Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman”, found in Lyrical Ballads, recounts the poet’s real-life encounter with an old huntsman.

Simon Lee lived in the county of Cardigan, not far from pleasant Ivor-hall. This old hunter was once strong and active. He ran as a jovial hunter for thirty-five years, and no one could compete with him in keeping the pace of the hunt. But now his health has deteriorated and his feudal lord has died. In old age he is now bereft of health, strength, friends and relatives. His only companion is an impoverished and childless elderly wife. He lives in a moss-covered mud hut on a patch of land.

One summer day the poet found a feeble old man trying in vain to cut the root of a tree with a mattock. The poet offers him help and cuts the tangled root with a single blow. Moved by this kind help, the old man bursts into tears of gratitude and thanks the poet profusely.

Gratitude is a faculty that is at the core of what is naturally human and humane. Cold rationalism would find no place for such a humble (however profound) sentiment in the old man’s tearful thanksgiving. The act of crying shows his integrity and also points to a person’s general coolness. As the poet comments touchingly

I have heard of unkind hearts, kind deeds

With the cold that keeps coming back

Alas! Gratitude of men

He often left me sad.

Here, the poet-narrator serves the reader and takes him through the experience of purgatory. The basic theme of the poem is pathos and the incongruity of old age. The poem is drawn from humble and rustic life. The old hunter is as close to the ground as the stubborn root of a tree he has tried in vain to uproot. And it has the simple language of the simple people who lived near the hills and streams.

Wordsworth here wants to draw our attention from the incident to the feelings which, he says, give importance to the action. The feelings include not only those of Simon Lee, but also of the poet-narrator, who also becomes emotionally involved.

The poem reveals that the humblest episodes of everyday life have an effect on the human condition. It makes us think as well as feel, and this sensibility is truly educational.

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