To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold
Converse with nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.
But midst the crowd, the hurry, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel and to possess,
And roam alone, the world's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less
Of all the flattered, followed, sought and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!
Solitude consists of two stanzas with nine verses each. The rhyme scheme is a.b,a,b,a,c,a,c,c in the first stanza and d,e,d,e,e,f,e,f,f in the second. The poem evokes many scenes of nature with descriptions of rocks, forests, mountains and waterfalls.
The poems explains that we are surrounded by nature. Lord Byron admires nature and feels that to be alone in nature isn't truly solitude because we can relax, think and appreciate all around us. On the other hand, the second stanza explains that we can be surrounded by people and noises. This seems the opposite of solitude. However, even in a large crowd, we can be alone. Lord Byron writes that with none to bless us, none who we can bless, we experience solitude. In other words, if we are not surrounded by people who care for us, we are alone.
The poem Solitude expresses a deep appreciation of the beauty in nature. We learn that to be alone with our thoughts in the beauty of nature is not the same as in a big city surrounded by strangers. Connected to nature and filled with admiration of the beauty we see, we can feel happy. However, in a large crowd of strangers, we can feel solitude.