She Walks in Beauty Examples
The line "she walks in beauty" is taken from a poem by Lord Byron:
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
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
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;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Lord Byron is attempting to express a rare harmony of beauty that the woman described in the poem possesses. She "walks in beauty," meaning that he very being is beautiful because she carries it with her. He compares her to a cloudless, starry night, where the "best of dark and bright" meet. The brightness of day would be "gaudy," but this woman is the perfect balance of light and dark-"one shade the more, one ray the less" would have ruined the beauty.
The poem was published in 1815, and Lord Byron is a Romantic poet. The Romantic period in English literature is characterized by an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. It is common for Romantic poets to write about the beauty of natural landscapes, and to compare women to the beauty of the natural world. Thus, Lord Byron's comparison of this woman's beauty to a starry night sky with the perfect balance of light in the darkness is consistent with Romantic poetry.
Literary Terms Examples