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The Solitary Reaper

The Solitary Reaper - Figures of Speech, Important Lines and Appreciation Questions

The Solitary Reaper

 

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!

Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

And sings a melancholy strain;

O listen! for the vale profound

Is overflowing with the sound.

 

No nightingale did ever chaunt

More welcome notes to weary bands

Of travellers in some shady haunt,

Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard

In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas

Among the farthest Hebrides.

 

Will no one tell me what she sings?

Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,

And battles long ago:

Or is it some more humble lay,

Familiar matter of to-day?

Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,

That has been, and may be again!

 

What’er the theme, the maiden sang

As if her song could have no ending;

I saw her singing at her work,

And o’er the sickle bending –

I listen’d motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore

Long after it was heard no more.

– William Wordsworth

Alliteration:

 SENTENCE
And sings a melancholy strain  s
No nightingale did ever chaunt  n
More welcome notes to weary bands  v
Among Arabian sands  a
Breaking the silence of the seas  s
Will no one tell me what she sings  v
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow  p
For old, unhappy, far-off things  f
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain  s
I saw her singing at her work  s
The music in my heart I bore  m

 

Allusion:

 SENTENCEREFERENCE
Yon solitary Highland LassFields of scotland
Among Arabian sandsThe reference is to the Arabian desert, where the nightingale sings.

 

Metaphor

 SENTENCE
Is overflowing with the sound
No nightingale did ever chaunt
In spring-time from the cuckoobird,
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

 

Rhyme SchemeRhyme Words
abcb lass, pass; ending, bending;
aabbGrain, strain; profound, sound; heard, bird; seas, herbides; lay, day; pain, again;
ababChaunt, haunt; bands, sands; sings, things; flow, ago; still, hill; bore, more

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