Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower


The poem ‘Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower’ was written by the great nature poet William Wordsworth in 1799 in Germany. It was first published in 1800 in The Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth wrote five poems about Lucy. It was one of his most well-known poems from his collection of Lucy poems. Lucy is a lovely natural creation. The poet expresses his feelings about nature in a powerful way.


The poem “Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower” by William Wordsworth, also known as “The Education of Nature,” is widely regarded as one of the so-called Lucy poems—poems written about an ideal female (whether partly real or entirely imagined) for whom the speaker has great affection.

The poem is difficult to interpret at first, as Michael Mason notes in his annotated edition of the Lyrical Ballads (a collection of poems by Wordsworth and his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which this text first appeared), owing to the word take in line 4. At first glance, the word may appear to imply that Nature “take[s]” a three-year-old girl in the sense of killing her. However, as Mason points out, this possible interpretation is undermined by subsequent details. The phrase “I to myself will take” (4) appears to mean “I myself will show special favour to” or “I myself will adopt.” When the phrase is read in this manner, the poem makes much more sense.

Wordsworth’s true attitude toward nature is revealed in this poem . Nature, according to him, is a heavenly spirit with the qualities of both a mother and a teacher. The poem describes how mother nature raised Lucy, moulded and shaped her life until she became a lovely young lady.

From the time she was born until she was three years old. Lucy grew up in the light and heat of the sun, as well as the showers of soft summer rain. Nature declared that there was no flower more beautiful than Lucy that had ever been born on Earth; Lucy was compared to a flower because of her beauty and the natural way in which she was raised. Mother Nature made the decision to take full control of nature’s ideal.

Nature would be a source of inspiration for Lucy for both law and impulse, inspiring emotions, and Lucy was learning about the secrets of mountains and plains, as well as the wisdom of the earth and heaven, in glade; a clear open space and bower, shady space under the tree. She would learn to feel an all-powerful ability to rouse and control.

Lucy would be playful and merciful, like a young deer full of wild and timeless joy, full of energy to go high up as the water spring on top of the mountain; a river’s source. She would also learn to be silent and calm in the presence of nature’s silent inanimate objects. The passing silent floating clouds would add dignity and grandeur to her. The curved branches of the willow tree would teach her modesty. The storm’s powerful movement represents both power and grace. Lucy would learn to be both powerful and graceful like the storm. Nonetheless, in silence, she would be shaped into a lovely young lady.

In this process, she would one day display all of her beauty like stars in the sky at midnight; she would be loved and close to them, and she would carefully listen to many secrets of nature. The hidden spots where the rivulets dance their way around with their clear rushing water. Their beauty was born with a soft murmuring sound that would make her beautiful and her face beautiful. The vital nourishment that nourished her to a regal height. As long as Lucy lives in this joyful valley with Mother Nature, she will shape Lucy’s thoughts to the pinnacle of maturity.

Finally, Mother Nature spoke up and declared that the task of educating Lucy had been completed. How soon would Lucy’s race in her life’s journey be completed? Lucy’s life span was compared to a race with a beginning and an end. When she died, all she left the narrator was the heath; barren land, a peaceful and quiet setting. The memory of what would always be suggestive of the fact that this natural work would never be repeated in the future.

Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower –   Stanza wise Analysis


According to the poet, Lucy was brought up by nature as a guide for three years. Lucy enjoyed in the lap of nature completely. After passing three years in Sun and shower nature compares Lucy to the loveliest flower on earth. Lucy seems to nature very charming like a beautiful flower. So nature decides to adopt Lucy and bring up. Nature wants to bring up Lucy according to her own way. She wants to make Lucy cultured and disciplined like her.


Nature cares for Lucy wherever she goes in the hilly areas, the plains, on the earth or in the sky. She goes with her everywhere to take care of her. Nature always guides her in her works and stimulates her energies. She always inspires her to have noble thoughts. 


According to the poet nature always will guide Lucy to keep her on the right path. Lucy also will feel happy like a young deer who jumps and plays in the grassy land. She will also enjoy the company of nature and its objects. She will be calm in the peaceful atmosphere of nature. She will feel the fragrance of the flowers.


According to the poet, Nature will teach Lucy important lessons of life. She will teach her the qualities of nature. Lucy will learn the value of freedom from free movements of clouds. She will learn softness and flexibility from the willows trees. She will also learn from fearful storms to live in a graceful manner. In fact she will learn from nature to be calm and peaceful in every situation of life. Thus nature will teach her according to her own way of teaching.


According to the poet, the shining stars of midnight surely will attract Lucy towards them. She will be attracted towards the small rivers after listening to their sweet sounds. Nature believes that the face of Lucy will shine after hearing the murmuring sound of small rivers. Her personality will be charming and graceful.


According to the poet, in the company of nature Lucy will grow and change into the graceful figure. She will be changed into a beautiful lady. Her heart will be filled with extreme joy and happiness. Nature will teach her according to her own way. she will fill her heart with noble and cheerful thoughts under the education of nature. Lucy will grow in a beautiful and graceful personality.


Here, in the last stanza of the poem, the poet says that nature has turned Lucy into a graceful lady as she said but she did not know that Lucy would die very soon. Lucy died at a very young age. Lucy left nature alone. Nature is also very sad to think that Lucy will never come again. Thus the poet is also sad about the death of Lucy.

Questions and Answers

Q. What is the main theme of the poem Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower?

A. The poet believes that if a child is given freedom to play in the lap of nature, he or she will be a better person in life. ‘Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower’ is about the poet’s love to a pure young girl and the loss of the beloved one, as his beloved (Lucy) belongs to nature, her return to nature is her death.

Q. Why did Nature take Lucy into its care?

A. Nature decided to take Lucy, the loveliest of flowers as her child, and make Lucy a lady of her own. She thought of entrusting Lucy with the power ‘to kindle or to restrain’. Lucy should learn the secret of balancing law and impulse perfectly from Nature

Q. What does nature first observe in Lucy?

A. We read in the first stanza about a girl named Lucy, that “Three years she grew in sun and shower.” Then Nature looks at her and sees a lovely flower, lovelier than all others, and decides to take the child to itself. “She shall be mine,” Nature declares, “and I will make / A Lady of my own.”

Q. What are the qualities that nature imbued in Lucy write in detail?

A. Nature teaches her an appreciation of beauty and love for fellow creatures. Nature shapes her sentiments and creates in her sympathy for the natural world and its denizens. Most importantly, Nature imbues Lucy with joy and delight


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