To a Skylark
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Stanza 12 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Sound of vernal showers
On the twinkling grass,
- We get more lovely images from nature here. The rains of spring ("vernal showers") make a pleasant sound on the "twinkling grass."
- Notice how alive and exciting nature is in this poem. The grass can't just hang out and be grass (bor-ing). Nope. It has to be "twinkling" too.
- This is another pretty nature image: flowers waking up in the rain.
- There's a little subtle personification here, since flowers don't actually sleep. But again, the vibrancy of the natural world comes through.
All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.
- At last! Here's the payoff for all those comparisons with other things in nature.
- Basically, the song of the skylark is better than all that other stuff. Every last bit of it. So, all those similes? Yeah, they kind of fall short.
- There are plenty of joyous things in nature—glow-worms and flowers and raindrops, etc.—but the music of the lark goes beyond ("surpasses") it all.