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To a Skylark

To a Skylark


by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Stanza 19 Summary

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

Lines 91-92

   Yet if we could scorn
    Hate, and pride, and fear;

  • Now he tries to imagine what it would be like to live without human emotions. What would it be like to be less human, less mortal, and more like the pure skylark?
  • What if we could ignore or get rid of ("scorn") the feelings like hate and pride and fear that make us so unhappy?

Lines 93-94

   If we were things born
    Not to shed a tear,

  • What if we were born without any feelings of pain or sorrow? What if we didn't have to cry?

Line 95

I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

  • Well, then maybe we couldn't ever be able to reach the joy of the skylark.
  • Maybe that's because we would still be human. Or maybe it's because we need that pain, that sorrow, in order to feel real joy. Hmm.

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