Study Guide

The Defence of Guenevere Lines 112-118

By William Morris

Lines 112-118

"I was right joyful of that wall of stone,
That shut the flowers and trees up with the sky,
And trebled all the beauty: to the bone,

"Yea right through to my heart, grown very shy
With weary thoughts, it pierced, and made me glad;
Exceedingly glad, and I knew verily,

"A little thing just then had made me mad;

  • The speaker says that she actually enjoyed the stone wall – she didn't feel trapped by it; instead, its presence made everything inside it seem even more beautiful.
  • All that beauty went straight to her heart and made her happy.
  • She needed cheering up, because, remember, she'd been feeling sad and "careless" for a few months at this point.
  • She says she also realized that something was making her slightly "mad" (insane) at that moment – or that some little thing could potentially make her "mad."
  • The tense of the verb makes it unclear – did something already make her insane, or did she just realize that she was teetering on the brink, so that some little thing could make her go crazy?
  • She doesn't say what that something was, though, or why it would make her "mad."

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