She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon, Lord Byron
Innocent Love and Serenity
The speaker never says that he's in love with the woman he describes, but you might very well suspect that he has the hots for her – after all, he goes on and on about how gorgeous she is. But the final line of the poem seems to be an attempt to dispel the reader's suspicions: he insists that her "love," at least, is "innocent." He describes her personality almost as much as her exterior beauty, by the end.
- Line 11: The sibilance, or repeated s sound, in this line ("thoughts serenely sweet express") create the kind of smooth, soothing, "serene" feeling that the line describes.
- Line 12: Byron uses a metaphor to describe the woman's mind: he says that it is the "dwelling place" of her thoughts.
- Line 18: It's a common poetic convention – almost a cliché – to talk about a person's "heart" feeling a certain way. But if you think about it, it's also a synecdoche: the "heart" is only a part of the whole person, and a synecdoche is when you substitute a part for the whole.