Why does the poet prefer to be a primitive Pagan rather than a member of civilised society?
Wordsworth is deeply disturbed by the materialism and consumerism, brought to us by the industrialisation. It has encompassed humanity, who is too busy “getting and spending”. He mourns that humanity has such wonderful powers that are being laid waste. The mankind has given her heart away to this destructive blessing, the poet calls it a “sordid boon”, an oxymoron. Thus, Wordsworth decides to become a Pagan and prays to God. Pagans were the people of Southern Europe, they were not worshippers of a monotheistic God. They were rustics or rural folk. Wordsworth admires their tradition and perceives that to be close to nature he should be one of them. He wishes to feed on and relish the mesmerising beauty of nature. He wishes to enjoy the lea he stands on so that he might feel a little less lonely. He wants to have the glimpses of the countryside and wants to taste the rural and rustic life that a Pagan lives. He wishes to go back in time where he might get a chance to see “The Old Man of the Sea”, Proteus, rising from the sea. He wishes to see “The Messenger of the Sea”, Triton, the son of Poseidon. Wordsworth wishes to be in absolute harmony with nature.