When I set out for Lyonnesse, Class 8 English Honeydew Book Poem 6 Explanation, Summary, Difficult words

When I set out for Lyonnesse Class 8 English Honeydew Book Poem 6– Detailed explanation of the poem along with meanings of difficult words and literary devices used in the poem. Given here is the complete explanation of the Poems, along with summary. All the exercises and Question and Answers given at the back of the lesson


 

Class 8 English (Honeydew Book) Poem 6 – When I set out for Lyonnesse

By Thomas Hardy

 

poem 6 when i set out for lyonnesse

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Introduction

 

The poem “When I set out for Lyonnesse” by Thomas Hardy is an account of his visit to a Parish to oversee the restoration of a Church. The poet names the place “Lyonnesse”. It is said that when he was returning from Lyonnesse, people noticed two things about him: first, the magical glow in his eyes that came from deep within and second, a crumpled piece of paper coming out of his coat pocket. The paper was the draft of this poem written by him.

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Summary

 

As an apprentice architect, the poet went to a Parish that he named “Lyonnesse” in his poem. Lyonnesse was somewhat a hundred miles away When the poet set out for Lyonnesse, the leaves and branches of the trees were covered in snow. The starlight falling upon him enlightened his loneliness and gave him hope. He further wrote that no one, not even a prophet or a wizard could have predicted the changes he experienced within himself while his stay at Lyonnesse. As he was returning from the place, people could notice the glow in his eyes but none of them said a word. The poet mentions that the glow was from deep within and it was nearly impossible to measure its depth. 

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Poem and Explanation

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse 

A hundred miles away, 

The rime was on the spray; 

And starlight lit my lonesomeness 

When I set out for Lyonnesse 

A hundred miles away. 

Lyonnesse- (in Arthurian legend) the mythical birthplace of Sir Tristram, in England, believed to have been submerged by the sea; here an imaginary place.

Rime- frost 

The spray- leaves and branches of trees; foliage 

Lonesomeness- depressed or sad because of the lack of friends, companionship, etc.; lonely

As a young trainee architect, the poet visited a parish [(in the Christian Church) a small administrative district typically having its own church and a priest or pastor] to oversee the restoration of a church. The poet called the place “Lyonnesse”. 

He begins the poem by telling his readers that it was winter season when he was on his way to Lyonnesse, a place almost a hundred miles away. The leaves and branches of the trees were covered with frost. The starlight illuminated his loneliness when he was on his way to Lyonnesse. 

 

What would bechance at Lyonnesse 

While I should sojourn there, 

No prophet durst declare; 

Nor did the wisest wizard guess 

What would bechance at Lyonnesse 

While I should sojourn there.

Bechance- happen/chance to happen

Sojourn- stay  

Prophet- a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God

Durst- (poetic word for) dared 

He further says that whatever happened during his stay at Lyonnesse was unpredictable. Here, he is talking about the changes that he experienced in himself. They were unforeseeable to the extent that no prophet or even the wisest of wizards could have guessed it. 

 

When I returned from Lyonnesse 

With magic in my eyes, 

All marked with mute surmise 

My radiance rare and fathomless, 

When I returned from Lyonnesse 

With magic in my eyes.

Surmise- suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it

Radiance- glow 

Fathomless- so deep that the depth can’t be measured

After his stay in Lyonnesse, when he returned, there was some sort of magic in his eyes. The gleaming eyes could clearly be seen. They needed no explanation. The glow was rare and immeasurable. It was because the place had such an impact on him that he felt a change from within.  

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Rhyme Scheme

 

1st Stanza- abbcab

2nd Stanza- addcad

3rd Stanza- aeecae

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Literary Devices

 

  1. Alliteration- the occurrence of the same consonant sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. Eg- “what would”, “durst declare”, “magic in my eyes”, etc.
  2. Symbolism- eg- The “starlight” (refers to twinkling stars)  symbolises “hope” and “Lyonnesse” symbolises a magical place which enlightens the poet

 

When I set out for Lyonnesse- Question and Answers

 

Working with the Poem

1. In the first stanza, find words that show 

(i) that it was very cold. 

(ii) that it was late evening. 

(iii) that the traveller was alone. 

A. The words which show the following are-

(i) that it was very cold.

The word “rime” shows that it was very cold. 

(ii) that it was late evening. 

 The word “starlight” shows that it was late evening.

(iii) that the traveller was alone. 

The word “lonesomeness” shows that the traveller was alone.

 

2. (i) Something happened at Lyonnesse. It was 

(a) improbable. 

(b) impossible. 

(c) unforeseeable. 

A. (c) unforeseeable. 

 

(ii) Pick out two lines from stanza 2 to justify your answer. 

A. The two lines that justify the answer in (i) are-

“No prophet durst declare; 

Nor did the wisest wizard guess 

What would bechance at Lyonnesse 

While I should sojourn there.”

 

3. (i) Read the line (stanza 3) that implies the following. ‘Everyone noticed something, and they made guesses, but didn’t speak a word’. 

A. The line that implies ‘Everyone noticed something, and they made guesses, but didn’t speak a word’ is 

“All marked with mute surmise “

(ii) Now read the line that refers to what they noticed

A.The line that refers to what they noticed is “My radiance rare and fathomless ”