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61. What change of thought? We might supply, in thought, some such words as these, “Since thou art so superior to all earthly things, teach us.” 62. What has the poet been thinking of principally up to this point? What new element is introduced here? 64. How do men express their praises of " love or wine”? 65. Comment on the words “panted,” “flood,” “ rapture,” and “divine.”
66. When, and by whom, would a “chorus hymeneal” be sung ? 67. On what occasions were triumphal hymus sung ? May we suppose that a conqueror returning from his victories or a newly-wedded couple would be supremely happy, and that songs in their honor would be perfectly joyous ? 69. Do you think this line is a poetic exaggeration? 70. Do you think this thought is true to life?
71. Explain the comparison iinplied by the word “ fountains." 73–75. Do such things as these bring joy to human hearts? 75. Compare the closing words of Gray’s “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College :
" — where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.”
80. Do human beings experience “ love's sad satiety”? If so, illustrate. Is the form “knew” grammatically correct? Would the line be improved by changing the form to “knew'st ” ?
82. Is death the fact of earthly existence that keeps happiness from mortals? How does the death of a mate, or of their young, affect birds and other animals? 85. Compare “ fountains” in line 71.
86. The expression “ look before and after" is one of the oldest in literature: give the full meaning. Compare this thought with the sixth stanza of “A Psalm of Life.” 88–89. Is this always true? 90. Give reasons why you can, or cannot, accept this thought as entirely true to human nature and experience. Memorize this stanza.
92. “Hate, and pride, and fear” are the strongest passions of the natural man who is unmoved by any higher motives. 95. What things in human life prevent us from being as happy as the birds ? Are they always singing ?
96 ff. How is this stanza both a sort of climax and a preparation for the last stanza ? 96. What kinds of sounds are suggested by the word 66
measures "? 98. What “ treasures” are found in books? 100. In what respects is the skill of the poet or musician different from that of the bird ?
103. What is meant by “harmonious madness”? Is the ecstasy of a poet something that compels a separation from society as the madness of a lunatic does, or is it only a stronger gift of imagination that enables him to apprehend more than the cool, matter-of-fact reasoner can comprehend ?
“ The Skylark's Singing.” Write a brief introduction, giving a word picture of the scene, the evening, the poet — reproduce in the most beautiful prose you can command, the thoughts suggested by the sweetness of the bird's song - in conclusion, contrast its joy with some of the facts of human life.
* Two Points of View.” For an introduction, comment on the fact that differences of nature or genius are manifested in differences of expression — then compare Bryant’s “ To a Waterfowl” and Shelley's “ To a Skylark”: mention the few points of similarity, and show the strong contrasts in mood and movement of the two poems.
O WORLD! O life ! O time !
On whose last steps I climb,
oh, nevermore !
Out of the day and night
A joy has taken flight;
oh, nevermore !
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
This is one of the finest examples in literature of what has been called “the lyrical cry,” — an outburst of overwhelming emotion, of personal feeling that cannot be restrained. Commit it to memory.
YE banks, and braes, and streams around
The castle o' Montgomery,
Your waters never drumlie !
And there the langest tarry ;
O’my sweet Highland Mary.
How sweetly bloom’d the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
I clasp'd her to my bosom !
Blew o'er me and my dearie;
Was my sweet Highland Mary.
Wi' monie a vow, and lock'd embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender ;
We tore oursels asunder;
That nipt my flower sae early !
That wraps my Highland Mary !
O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae kissed sae fondly !
That dwelt on me sae kindly !
And mold'ring now in silent dust,
That heart that lo’ed me dearly ! But still within
bosom's core Shall live my Highland Mary.
- ROBERT BURNS.
1. “braes” (brāz) – sloping hillsides. 4. “drumlie” — muddy, turbid. 10. - birk ” — birch tree. 19. “aft” — often. 21. “ fell”. fierce, cruel.
What is the strong human emotion expressed in this poem? In what ways is nature associated with this feeling? What is the effect of the use of Scotch words? To what extent can the melody of the stanzas be analyzed ? What figures of speech are found in this poein?