I wandered lonely, as a cloud
That floats on high . .
Pathetic fallacy my aunt fanny.
Wordsworth's best known poem - so familiar that it's almost invisible - is the absolute embodiment and articulation of the Romantic tradition. It was prompted by a particular event. on 15th April 1802 - a Thursday - when Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a "long belt" of daffodils during a walk beside Ullswater in stormy weather. The inspiration for the poem (written two years later) was not the walk itself but Dorthy's journal entry, in which she described the daffodils as they 'tossed and reeled and danced, and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake'.
(Pause to reflect that a modern day Dorothy would probably have written n 'literally' for 'verily'.)
The poem was published in 1807 and revised in 1815. What if Wordsworth had more accurately begun:
We wandered lonely, as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and ills
When all at once we saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils . .
It's not much worse, is it? But that 'golden' makes me wonder. They're yellow aren't they, daffodils?