From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
To a Skylark

To a Skylark


by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Stanza 14 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 66-67

   Chorus Hymeneal,
    Or triumphal chant,

  • The speaker is in full smarty-pants mode here—showing off what he knows about poetry. These are just two different kinds of poems meant for different occasions. 
  • A "Hymeneal" chorus is a poem or a song for a wedding (Hymen was the Greek god of marriage).
  • A triumphal chant would be written to celebrate a victory.
  • There, not so complicated after all, right?

Lines 68-69

   Match'd with thine would be all
    But an empty vaunt,

  • As far as the speaker is concerned, all this human poetry can't stand up to the skylark's tune. 
  • In comparison, poetry would just sound like meaningless boasting ("an empty vaunt").

Line 70

A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

  • Those empty boastful poems or songs would just make us feel like something was missing (a "hidden want") compared to the skylark's incredible melodies.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...