What Are the Words to the Poem in “Splendor in the Grass?”

“Splendor in the Grass” is a 1961 movie that features an excerpt of the William Wordsworth poem “Ode: Intimations of Immortality.” The character Wilma Dean Loomis, played by Natalie Wood, utters the lines, “Though nothing can bring back the hour/ Of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower;/ We will grieve not, rather find/ Strength in what remains behind.”

The excerpt is quoted twice during the movie. In the first instance, it is mentioned in a classroom environment where the teacher, Miss Metcalf, asks the main character, Wilma Dean Loomis, to read the lines from a textbook. At this first reading, Wilma seems to struggle with the meaning of the lines. The poem is referenced a second time when Wilma visits the boy she had loved and discovers that he already has a wife and children. When asked if she still loves him, she shows that she now has an intimate understanding of the meaning of the lines.

The quote represents just four out of 208 lines in the poem, which was finished by Wordsworth in 1804 and published in a collection of Wordsworth’s poetry in 1807, titled “Poems, in Two Volumes.” The poem is largely interpreted to be about childhood and growth.