I first read Dorothy Wordsworth's The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals on holiday in the Lake District where a visit to Dove Cottage is a must. Here is part of Dorothy's entry for Thursday 15th. April, 1802:
"When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up.
But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.
I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them,
some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness
and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake,
they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing.
There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up
but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway.
We rested again and again."
It was not until 1804 that William Wordsworth wrote "I wandered lonely as a cloud", having kept in mind the golden images from a blustery day's walk all that time.