Byron

3840 Words Nov 10th, 2013 16 Pages
She Walks In Beauty
By: Lord Byron (George Gordon)

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!
"She Walks in Beauty"
…show more content…
Her beauty is contrasted to the “gaudy” daylight.

Stanza 1 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Lines 1-2
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; * An unnamed woman "walks in beauty." This is an odd way of saying that she's beautiful, isn't it? "Walk[ing] in beauty" makes her beauty seem more dynamic – as though it's partly her movement and the spring in her step that make her beautiful. She's not just a pretty face in a portrait; it's the whole living, breathing, "walk[ing]" woman that's beautiful. * Her beauty is compared to "night." This seems strange – night is dark, right? Aren't beautiful women usually compared to "a summer's day"? (That would be Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, in case you were wondering). * But the featured woman isn't just compared to any "night," she's compared to a night in a place where there are no clouds and lots of stars. We suppose that means she has a very clear and lovely complexion? Or perhaps being "cloudless" has more to do with her personality – her conscience might be as clear as a "cloudless" sky. * You see "starry skies" at night, but the brightness of the stars relieves the darkness of the night. This is the first hint of a contrast between light and dark in the poem. * There's some pretty sweet alliteration in these lines. You might want to head over to the "Symbols" section for
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