"To a Skylark" is a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in June 1820. It consists of twenty-one five-line stanzas. The stanzas each consist of four lines of iambic trimeter followed by a line of iambic hexameter. The rhythm generally follows the metrical scheme, with the more common variations including acephalous lines and spondaic substitutions. The rhyme scheme is ABABB. The majority of the lines are end-stopped with prominent rhyme words—some monosyllabic with long vowels but a few with feminine rhymes. The relatively regular rhythm, the use of trimeter, and the end-stopped lines give the intended effect of a song, mimicking the song of the skylark.
In the poem, a first-person narrator uses the rhetorical technique of apostrophe, personifying the bird and talking to it as though it were a person. As is typical of Romantic poetry, the narrator sees the bird as an emblem of pure joy that is "better than all treasures / That in books are found."
The poet rather plaintively asks the bird to teach him the joy that appears in the song and suggests that the ideal poem reflect such teachings, thus imitating the pure joy of the skylark song.