She Walks in Beauty Questions and Answers
by Lord George Gordon Byron

She Walks in Beauty book cover
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She Walks In Beauty Summary

Explain the summary of stanzas of the poem "She Walks in Beauty".

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The progression of stanzas in "She Walks in Beauty" tell of various aspects of the beauty of a woman.  The first stanza compares the woman to the beauty of the night

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     5
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

Describing her as walking "in beauty" makes her beauty less personal and more ethereal.  Since she is compared to something as cosmic as "night of cloudless climes and starry skies" -- that is, a clear night lit brightly by stars -- the suggestion is not just of personal beauty, but of a celestial, almost spiritual quality.  It is not simply that she is dark-haired, with bright eyes (like the dark sky of night, and bright stars,)  but "all that's best of dark and bright"  are joined in her aspect (looks) and her eyes.  The picture, created in just these first six lines, is of a woman who is not only blessed with physical beauty, but has a certain quality of harmonious nature about her which increases her attractiveness.  A phrase so general as "all that's best of dark and bright" brings to mind the beauty of all things dark and things shining.  To be possessed of the best qualities of beauty of such a large class of things is substantial indeed.

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;     10
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear, their dwelling-place.

In this stanza, Byron talks about how not only is the subject of the poem beautiful, but she has a...

(The entire section contains 604 words.)

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