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Smiles and Blushes

Symbol Analysis

The poet keeps emphasizing that the nameless beauty isn't just a pretty face – her exterior beauty is a reflection of her interior goodness. He keeps remarking on both her smiles and her blushes, which, after all, are half-unconscious external responses to internal moods or feelings. So there's yet another binary, or set of opposites, to keep track of in this poem – the woman's inside and outside traits.

  • Line 11: The poet personifies the woman's thoughts by saying that they "express" things in her face.
  • Lines 14-15: The woman's "smiles" and the "tints" or blushes in her cheeks are personified when the poet describes them as "eloquent."
  • Line 16: The smiles and blushes are personified a final time when they "tell of" all the time the woman has spent doing good deeds.

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