What figurative language can be found in "A Night Thought" by William Wordsworth?

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though not one of William Wordsworth's most famous poems, "A Night Thought" is still full of vivid figurative language and imagery. Indeed a rich example of figurative language can be found within the first stanza: 

Lo! where the Moon along the sky
Sails with her happy destiny;
Oft is she hid from mortal eye
Or dimly seen... (1-4)

In this section, Wordsworth uses an excellent example of personification by giving the moon human qualities. The moon is, of course, not alive, and yet Wordsworth gives it human qualities by calling it "her" and by saying that it "sails" through the sky and has a "destiny." All of these qualities are typically human qualities, and Wordsworth uses them in conjunction with the moon in order to make it more lifelike and give it a vivid, aesthetically pleasing energy. He also later uses the moon's carefree personification to highlight the absurd, contrasting sullenness of the human race. 

There are other examples of figurative language in this poem, and I'd encourage you to use the link to eNotes' literary devices guide to fully unlock Wordsworth's verse. 

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