She Walks in Beauty
– Lord Byron
She Walks in Beauty is a short lyrical poem by Lord Byron, celebrating female beauty. The poet describes an unnamed woman who is exceptionally striking. The poet describes not only her external appearance but also her inner goodness which makes her so captivatingly attractive. Byron compares her to the night sky describing her serene and perfect beauty. Although the poem is generally thought to be a love poem, the poet never actually declares his love for this lady.
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.
George Gordon Byron (22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824), known simply as Lord Byron, was an English romantic poet. He was one of the leading figures of the Romantic movement, and has been regarded as among the greatest of English poets. Among his best-known works are the lengthy narratives Don Juan and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage; many of his shorter lyrics in Hebrew Melodies also became popular.
Around the poem, Lord Byron engages with themes of beauty, clarity and purity. When seeing his cousin, he’s struck by both elements of her physical presence. She has a pure beauty that he feels is unmatched by any he’s seen in the back. He’s taken by what she looks like as well as her inner beauty. Byron certainly idealizes his vision of his cousin but, it’s this perfect image that makes the poem so universal and enduring.
Structure and Form:
The poem is well structured and systematically organized. This is a three-stanza poem, each stanza of which contains six lines. This is the poetic form that is mostly used for hymns and thus associated both with simplicity and with chasteness. The poem itself is a type of love poem. The poem follows a rhyme scheme of ABABAB.
The poem’s meter is also written in iambic tetrameter. The lines contain four sets of two beats, the first of which is an unstressed syllable and the second of which is a stressed syllable. These two syllables together make one iamb.
|‘Like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies’
|‘Which waves in every raven tress, Or softly lightens o’er her face’
|‘And all that’s best of dark and bright’
‘Which heaven to gaudy day denies’
‘Where thoughts serenely sweet express’
|‘Thus mellowed to that tender light’
‘Which heaven to gaudy day denies’
|‘And all that’s best of dark and bright’
‘One shade the more, one ray the less’
|About poem, poet and title
|‘She Walks in Beauty’.
A Short Lyrical Poem.
English romantic poet Lord Byron.
|Inner beauty and outer beauty.
Beauty and harmony of mind and body.
Balance between light and dark.
|Consisting of three stanzas.
All stanzas are well-balanced to present the idea of beauty. Written in Iambic Tetrameter.
|Language and poetic devices
|Presented in rich and impressive language. Use of Simile, Antithesis, Alliteration and Personification. The poem follows a rhyme scheme of ‘ababab’.
|Byron has given this poem a romantic feel and touch to make it an eternal literary piece.
|Message, value, morals
|Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates. External beauty is a gift but an internal beauty is a success.
|According to me, beauty is not in the Face, beauty is a Light in the Heart. I think, everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.
“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. Explain.
This is absolutely true that “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. It means that what one person finds beautiful might not be the same for someone else. In simple terms, beauty is subjective and depends on the person looking at something. Different people have different opinions about what they consider beautiful. So, it’s not about something being universally beautiful; instead, it’s about individual preferences and perspectives.
Tell about the most inspirational person you have come across in your life. Also explain the reasons behind your opinion:
The great servants of humanity, Mother Teresa is the most inspirational and influential person in my life. Her life and work have left a profound impact on many, making her a source of inspiration for countless individuals worldwide. Some other reasons are-
- Her compassion and selflessness
- Her humanitarian work
- Her devotion to service
- Her humility and simplicity
- Her faith and dedication
After reading the poem match Column A with Column B.
|1. the lady’s beauty
|a cloudless starry night
|2. her hair
|wavy and black
|3. her eyes
|a perfect blend of light and darkness
|4. her smile
|soft, calm and eloquent
|5. her mind
|at peace with all below a heart
|6. her face
|expresses thoughts serenely and sweetly
The lady in the poem has a winning smile and a glowing skin. According to the poet she is blessed with thee things because:
- She is good and kind
- She has winning smiles
- She has clear conscience
- She is virtuous and honest
- She has lightened face
- She has glowing tints
In this poem the poet brings a perfect balance of outer beauty and inner beauty. Write few lines on how the poet brings this balance in his description:
The poet skillfully integrated outer and inner beauty, creating a harmonious balance in his depiction of the woman. The poem not only celebrates the woman’s physical allure but also delve into the radiant goodness that emanates from her character. Byron seamlessly weaves together the external and internal aspects of the woman’s beauty, portraying a balance that elevates her to a realm beyond mere aesthetics.
‘Beauty is skin deep’- Do you agree with the statement? Or do you feel that beauty comes from within? Explain views in a few simple sentences.
- The statement “Beauty is skin deep” suggests that physical appearance is the primary factor in determining beauty.
- While external features may initially attract attention, true beauty often emanates from within.
- Qualities such as kindness, compassion, and a positive attitude contribute significantly to a person’s attractiveness.
- Inner qualities play a crucial role in defining genuine beauty, making it more than just skin deep.
Words used to describe the lady in the poem:
A contraction is a shortened version of the written and spoken forms of the word, syllable or word groups created by omission of internal letters and sounds. Find out the instances of contractions from the poem.
Answer: that’s – that is / o’er – over
The poet creates imagery of light and darkness to bring out the beauty of the lady. Find out the lines with such imageries and complete the table.
|Lines with imagery
|Reason for it
|1. And all that’s best of dark and bright
|To express the beauty of the eyes
|2. One shade the more, one ray the less
|To describe the woman’s beauty
|3. Which waves in every raven tress
|To describe the woman’s hair
|4. Or softly lightens o’er her face
|To describe the woman’s skin
Compose poems of at least 4-6 lines on ‘Beauty of Nature’:
Sunrise whispers in hues of gold,
Painting the sky, a story untold.
Mountains stand proud, trees unfold,
Nature’s beauty, a sight to behold.
Sunset paints the sky in fire,
Reflecting on the tranquil lake.
Nature’s grace, a sweet lyre,
A symphony only she can make.
Petals dancing in the spring,
Rivers murmuring their song.
Nature’s beauty, an endless fling,
A melody where we all belong.
Moonlight bathes the silent night,
Stars twinkle, casting soft light.
Owls hoot, in quiet flight,
Nature’s serenity, pure and bright.
Expansion of Idea:
Write at least one paragraph and expand the inherent idea of the saying ‘A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever’:
“A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever” means that when we see or experience something beautiful, it makes us happy, and this happiness lasts for a very long time. It could be anything that we find lovely, like a pretty flower, a smiling face, or a colorful sunset. Beautiful things have a special way of bringing joy that stays with us, making our hearts feel good even when time passes. It reminds us to appreciate the simple and beautiful moments in life because they can bring us happiness that lasts a really long while.
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