I think it's prudent to define "figures of speech" before I tell you about the figures of speech in Oliver Goldsmith's poem "The Village Schoolmaster." When "figures of speech" come up for discussion, what's being discussed is how words can be used in a non-literal way in order to create a more powerful and vivid reading experience.
A figure of speech occurs within the first four lines of "The Village Schoolmaster." Goldsmith writes:
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
The village master taught his little school.
The two lines represent irony. It seems like the mansion is actually not a mansion. What Goldsmith is describing is the opposite of a large, roomy, luxurious home. He’s talking about a tiny schoolhouse.
Another figure of speech employed by Goldsmith is metaphor. Goldsmith tells how the students
learn’d to trace
The days disasters in his morning face.
Goldsmith doesn’t mean that students are literally tracing their schoolmaster’s face. They’re not covering it with thin paper and going over that paper with a pencil. Trace means something else. It means they’re learning or finding out about all of the commotion and hullabaloo that’s been happening.
There’s another kind of figure of speech in the lines I just quoted. There’s alliteration in “days disasters.” Alliteration can also be found later on in the line:
While words of learned length and thund’ring sound.
Another figure of speech arrives in the last line. Goldsmith says,
But past is all his fame. The very spot
Where many a time he triumph’d is forgot.
It seems like “forgot” could be a euphemism for something more stark. Maybe something bad happened to the schoolmaster. Perhaps something bad happened to the village. It’s possible that the schoolmaster died. It’s also plausible that people really did just forget about the schoolmaster. I suppose that’s the problem with figures of speech. It’s hard to pin down their literal meaning.