“…and this prayer I make/ Knowing that Nature never did betray” Explain the lines

……… and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: (Lines 121-125)

This is from William Wordsworth’s exhortation to his sister Dorothy in the concluding portion of his celebrated poem Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. After relating the diverse stages of his association with Nature, the poet goes to assure here Dorothy of the consistency of the salutary impact of Nature, that remains ever unshaken.

The poet in Wordsworth is a devout admirer and worshipper of Nature. In different stages in his life—in his boyhood, youth and manhood—he has been a firm and devoted lover of Nature. He believes strongly in the congenial role of Nature as a constant source of man’s joy and consolation. He strongly avows to his sister that Nature never turns false to one who truly loves her. What he implies is that the love of Nature is all through steady, constant, and not at all frail or fickle like that of man. In this connection, the poet further assures Dorothy of the blessed effects of Nature on her lovers, like herself. He claims unequivocally that Nature has the unfailing function to lead man from one joy to another. What he affirms here is that the vast world of Nature is rich with graces and charms, pleasures and solaces, and this may well be enjoyed and relished by those who truly love and follow her.

The passage echoes Wordsworth’s profound regard for Nature and his warm conviction in the beneficial role of Nature in human society. This particularly lays down the benevolent humanitarian function of Nature to serve and help men in their problems and weariness of life.

Also read; William Wordsworth’s philosophy of Nature as expressed in “Tintern Abbey”