The Darkling Thrush Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Darkling Thrush.
This section contains 502 words
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Stanza 1

The opening lines of "The Darkling Thrush" establish the tone and the setting of the poem. Hardy underscores the speaker's meditative mood by describing him leaning upon a "coppice gate," meaning a gate that opens onto the woods. The presence of frost tells readers it is winter, and the adjective "spectre-grey," a word Hardy coined, suggests a haunted landscape. The word "dregs" means the last of something, but here the dregs act upon the "weakening eye of day," making the twilight "desolate."

In the fifth and sixth lines, the speaker uses a simile to compare "tangled bine-stems" to "strings of broken lyres." Bine-stems are the stems of shrubs, and a lyre is a stringed musical instrument similar to a harp. Although "score" is a musical term, Hardy uses it to create an ominous visual image. While the speaker is outside contemplating a bleak landscape, the rest of...

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This section contains 502 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Darkling Thrush Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Darkling Thrush from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.