Stay near me - do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet .depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:-with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.

W. Wordsworth, "To a Butterfly".

Which part of speech is 'hunter' in the following line?

A very hunter did I rush

If it's a noun, then the meaning is: "I'm such a hunter, I rushed on the butterfly.", right?

And would there be then appropriate to use a comma after the word 'hunter' (A very hunter, did I rush)? Because this line seems to convey two thoughts.

  • 2
    I, a bona-fide hunter, rushed upon the prey. A memory of pretending to be a hunter and really believing at the time that you were one.
    – TimR
    Apr 22 at 10:33
  • [as] an actual hunter I rushed upon the prey. as is implied.
    – Lambie
    Apr 22 at 14:44

1 Answer 1



The meaning of "very" is not the usual adverb, but the archaic adjective meaning "Real, true, actual" compare the line from the credo "very God of very God".

Obviously, ignore any (lack) of punctuation - this is an old poem. Don't try to learn anything about grammar from it. "Did I rush..." is not a question.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .