The opening stanza consciously sets the poem as a meditation on phenomenal perception. In fact,
the poem is very much an artist's poem, and even more a Ruskinian
Pre-Raphaelite artist's poem with its insistence on attention to dynamic and volatile detail. The
aesthetic argument is carried implicitly, as a stylistic event, until the end of the poem,
when DGR makes his final dramatic allusion to Turner's famous painting of 1844,
Rain, Steam and Speed—The Great
First printed in WMR's 1886 Collected
Works, and collected thereafter.