Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 12 English Literature Unseen Poems

1. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

The Laburnum top is silent, quite still
In the afternoon yellow September sunlight,
A few leaves yellowing, all its seeds fallen.
Till the goldfinch comes, with a twitching chirrup
A suddenness, a startlement, at a branch end.
Then sleek as a lizard, and alert, and abrupt,
She enters the thickness, and a machine starts up
Of chitterings, and a tremor of wings, and trillings
The whole tree trembles and thrills.
It is the engine of her family.
She stokes it full, then flirts out to a branch-end
Showing her barred face identity mask.
Then with eerie delicate whistle-chirrup whisperings
She launches away, towards the infinite
And the laburnum subsides to empty.

[Without goldfinch (a small singing bird with yellow feathers on its wings) the laburnum tree remains standing lifeless. But just as the goldfinch comes on it, it comes alive. With the departure of the bird, it again becomes calm and lifeless]

Word-Meanings : laburnum = अमलतास का वृक्ष। quite = पूरी तरह से still = स्थिर। sunlight = धूप। yellowing = पीली हो रहीं। fallen = गिर चुके। goldfinch = सोनचिड़ी (सोनचिड़िया)। twitching = एक झटके के साथ। chirrup = चहचहाहट। suddenness = अचानक होने का भाव। startlement = चौंक जाने का भाव। end = छोर, किनारा। sleek = चिकनी, चमकदार। lizard = छिपकलि। abrupt = अचानक, अप्रत्याशित। thickness = सधनता। chitterings = चहचहाटें। tremor = तीव्र कम्पन्न। trillings = तीव्र स्वर। trembles = काँप उठता है। thrills = रोमांचित हो उठता है। flirts out = फुदकती है। barred = धारीदार। eerie = अद्भुत। delicate = नाजुक। whistle-chirrup = सीटी जैसी चहचहाहट की आवाज। infinite = अनन्त। subsides = शांत रह जाता है। empty = खाली।

Questions

  1. What has happened to the seeds of the laburnum (tree)?
  2. How does the goldfinch come?
  3. With whom has a goldfinch been compared in sleekness?
  4. Why has the tree been called engine of her family?
  5. What happens to the laburnum when the goldfinch flies away?

Answers:

  1. All the seeds of the laburnum (tree) have fallen.
  2. The goldfinch comes with twitching chirrup.
  3. Goldfinch has been compared to a lizard in sleekness.
  4. Like an engine, the tree is filled with shrill sounds of the goldfinch family. So the tree has been called the engine of her family.
  5. When the goldfinch flies away the laburnum is left empty.

2. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

When did my childhood go? Was it the day I ceased to be eleven, Was it the time I realised that Hell and Heaven, Could not be found in Geography, And therefore could not be, Was that the day! When did my childhood go? Was it the time I realised that adults were not all they seemed to be, They talked of love and preached of love, But did not act so lovingly, Was that the day! When did my childhood go? Was it when I found my mind was really mine. To use whichever way I choose, Producing thoughts that were not those of other people

[The poet misses his childhood innocence. He feels that now he has grown up. Now he also realises the emptiness of preachings and showy behaviour of adults. He understands that they pretend to be good but actually they are not]

Word-Meanings : childhood = बचपन। ceased = बन्द हो गयां, रुक गया। realised = महसूस किया। hell = नर्क। heaven = स्वर्ग। found = पाया। geography = भूगोल। therefore = इसलिये। adults = वयस्क। seemed = लगते थे। preached = उपदेश देते थे, सिखाते थे। lovingly = प्रेमपूर्वक। act = व्यवहार करना। mine = मेरा। whichever = जिस किसी भी। thoughts = विचार।

Questions

  1. What does the poet miss?
  2. When exactly did the poet feel to have grown up?
  3. What do the adults preach?
  4. What did the poet realise about the adults?
  5. What did the poet find about his mind?

Answers:

  1. The poet misses his childhood.
  2. On turning twelve, the poet felt to have grown up.
  3. The adults preach about love.
  4. The poet realised the adults pretended being good but in reality they were not so.
  5. The poet found that his mind was really his own.

3. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

I do not understand this child
Though we have lived together now
In the same house for years. I know
Nothing of him, so try to build
up a relationship from how
He was when small.
Yet have I killed
The seed I spent or sown it where
The land is his and none of mine?
We speak like strangers, there’s no sign
Of understanding in the air.
This child is built to my design
Yet what he loves I cannot share.
Silence surrounds us. I would have
Him prodigal, returning to
His father’s house, the home he knew,
Rather than see him make and move
His world.

[This poem is about generation gap. Here the father feels a kind of distance or gap between his son and himself. He wishes to be closer to his son. He wants to remove this gap. But both of them have their own worlds and thus they never come closer to each other.]

Word-Meanings : understand = समझना। together = साथ-साथ। build up = बनाना। relationship = सम्बन्ध yet = फिर भी killed =मार दिया है, समाप्त कर दिया है seed = (यहाँ) संस्कार spent = दिये sown = बोया, बोया strangers = अजनबी sign = चिह्न, संकेत understanding = समझ air = (यहाँ) वातावरण is built to my design = पालना-पोषण मवृ (पिता) योजना के अनुसार ही हुआ है share = सहभागिता करना silence = शान्ति। surrounds = घेरे हुए हैं। prodigal = फिजूलखर्च।

Questions:

  1. What does the father mean when he says, “I know nothing of him.”?
  2. What type of relation does the father want to build?
  3. What do the ‘seed’ and ‘land’ stand for?
  4. What is missing between the father and the son?
  5. What does “silence surrounds us” mean?

Answers:

  1. The father means that he doesn’t know about the views, likes and dislikes of his son.
  2. The father wants to build the relationship with his son as it was when the son was quite young.
  3. “Seed stands for the teachings of the father and the ‘land’ stands for the mind of the son.
  4. Mutual understanding is missing between the father and the son.
  5. It means that the father and the son don’t share their feelings with each other.

4. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

You cannot call this true devotion,
To bathe one’s forehead and apply the tilak
Without cleaning the impurities of the heart.
That cruel cur desire
Has bound me with the cord of greed.
The butcher of anger remains within me,
How can I hope to meet Gopal?
The greedy senses are like a cat,
And I keep on giving them food.
Weakened by my hunger for sense-objects
I do not take the name of God.
I worship not God but myself,
And glow with recstasy.
Now that I have built up
This towering rock of pride,
Where can the water of true wisdom collect?

[In this poem, Mira Bai expresses her devotion to Lord Krishna. She makes clear the meaning of true devotion.]

Word-Meanings : devotion = पूजा, भक्ति। apply = लगाना। cleansing = साफ करना। impurities = गन्दगी,अशुद्वियाँ cur = आक्रामक कृता desire = इच्छा, तृष्णा bound = बाँधा cord = बाँधा, डोरी greed = इच्छा,ललच butcher = कसाई remains = रहता है बना हुआ है senses = इन्द्रियाँ weakened = कामजोर बना दी गयीं,कर दी गयीं sense-objects = इन्द्रियों को विषय glow = चमकना, दमकना ecstasy = अत्यधिक प्रसन्नता towering = अत्यधिक ऊँची wisdom = बुद्धिमानी,समझदारी

Questions

  1. What is applying tilak a symbol of?
  2. What is needed for true devotion?
  3. Find the examples of metaphor in the second stanza.
  4. What is ‘food’ for senses?
  5. What keeps wisdom away?

Answers:

  1. Applying tilak is a symbol of making a show of devotion.
  2. Impurities of heart need be cleaned for true devotion.
  3. The examples of metaphor in the second stanza are –
    • cruel cur desire
    • cord of greed
    • butcher of anger
  4. Sense-objects are ‘food’ for senses.
  5. Pride keeps wisdom away.

5. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

As a young citizen of India,
Armed with technology,
knowledge And love for my nation,
I realize, small aim is a crime.
I will work and sweat for a great vision,
The vision of transforming India
Into a developed nation,
Powered by economic strength with value system.
I am one of the citizens of a billion,
Only the vision will ignite the billion souls.
It has entered into me.
The ignited soul compared to any resource
Is the most powerful resource
On the earth, above the earth and under the earth.
I will keep the lamp of knowledge burning
To achieve the vision – Developed India.

[This poem expresses Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision about India. He says that if the youth of India works enthusiastically for India, India can emerge as a developed nation.]

Word-Meanings : armed = (यहाँ) सुसज्जित। technology = तकनीक। sweat = घोर या कठिन परिश्रम करना। vision = परिकल्पना। transforming = पूर्ण रूप से बदल देना। powered by economic growth = आर्थिक शक्ति से सम्पन्न। value system = नैतिक सिध्दान्त। billion = एक अरब। ignite =(यहाँ) प्रेरित या प्रोत्साहित करना। ignited = प्रेरित या प्रोत्साहित। resource = साधन।

Questions

  1. How should a citizen of India be?
  2. What can we do by working hard?
  3. Who should have a vision to make India a developed country?
  4. According to the poet which is the most powerful resource to make India a developed nation?
  5. What should we do to achieve the vision of making India a developed nation?

Answers:

  1. A citizen of India should be armed with technology and knowledge.
  2. By working hard we can transform our nation into a developed nation.
  3. Every Indian citizen should have a vision to see this great nation, as a developed country with vigorous economic growth based on moral values.
  4. The ignited soul is the most powerful resource to make India a developed nation.
  5. We should keep the lamp of knowledge burning to achieve this vision.

6. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

The wounded snake its hood unfurls,
The flame stirred up doth blaze,
The desert air resounds the calls
Of heart-struck Lion’s rage :
The cloud puts forth its deluge strength
When lightning cleaves its breast,
When the soul is stirred to its inmost depth
Great ones unfold their best !
Let eyes grow dim and ears grow faint
And friendship fail and love betray.
Let Fate its hundred horrors send
And clotted darkness block the way –
And nature wear one angry frown
To crush you out-still know my soul,
You are divine. March on and on
Nor right nor left, but to the goal !

[The world is full of miseries, troubles and difficulties. But if we have faith in God, we need not be afraid of all these misfortunes. Sufferings and failures cannot deviate us from the right path. In fact they bring out the best in us.)

Word-Meanings : hood = साँप का फैला हुआ फन| unfurls = खेल लेता है flame = लौ blaze = जोर से जल उठना। resounds = गुंजा देता है। call = दहाड़। heart-struck = बहुत घायल। rage = अत्यधिक क्रोध। puts forth = प्रस्तुत करता है। deluge = बाढ़। cleaves = चीर देती है। stirred = छेड़ दी जाती है। inmost = सबसे अंदरूनी। ones = लोग | unfold = प्रदर्शित करते हैं। betray = धोखा देना। clotted darkness = घाना अंधकार| block = the nature = (यहाँ) प्राकृतिक आपदाएँ| frown = sक्रोध से भौंहें चढ़ना। to crush = नष्ट करना। march on = चलते चलो। goal = लक्ष्य।

Questions

  1. When do the great people show their best worth?
  2. How does a lion react when wounded ?
  3. In what way can darkness harm us?
  4. What wrong can a friend or lover do?
  5. Mention the examples of personification and metaphor in the poem.

Answers:

  1. Great people show their best worth when their soul is touched to their innermost depth.
  2. When a lion is severely wounded, he gives out the most frightening roars.
  3. Surrounding darkness can stop our marching feet.
  4. A friend or a lover can turn faithless.
  5. Friendship fail and love betray : Personification; And clotted darkness : Metaphor.

7. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

Expanding like the petals of young flowers
I watch the gentle opening of your minds
And the sweet loosening of the spell that binds
Your intellectual energies and powers.

That stretch (like young birds in soft summer hours)
Their wings to try their strength. O how the winds
Of circumstances and freshening April showers
Of early knowledge and unnumbered kinds

Of new perceptions shed their influence,
And how you worship truth’s Omnipotence!
What joyance rains upon me when I see
Fame in the mirror of futurity,

Weaving the chaplets you have yet to gain,
Ah then I feel I have not lived in vain.

[The poem reflects the feelings and motto of an ideal teacher. A teacher cuts, chisels and prunes a young pupil into a worthy young man, who has all the good qualities. He imparts knowledge to his pupil, looks after him and watches all his activities carefully. He never takes rest till his pupil has developed into a worthy young man.]

Word-Meanings : spell = जादू। petals = पंखुडियाँ। gentle opening = धीरे – धीरे। till shower = वर्षा की फुहारें। perception = इंद्रियों द्वारा प्रत्यक्ष ज्ञान। shed = गिराना। Omnipotence = धीरे – धीरे। chaplets = मालाऍं।

Questions

  1. Find two examples of similes in the poem.
  2. When do the pupils begin to feel the supreme power of truth?
  3. Write the word from the poem which means ‘supreme power’
  4. How does April make us fresh ?
  5. What does the teacher get when he sees fame in the mirror of futurity ?

Answers:

  1. The two similes used are :
    • Expanding like petals of young flowers.
    • That stretch their wings like young birds.
  2. When new perceptions of knowledge influence the vision of the pupils, they feel the supreme power of truth.
  3. The word ‘omnipotence’ means supreme power.
  4. April brings new life to greenery, fruits and flowers; we too feel a new zeal and joy.
  5. When the teacher sees name and fame for his pupils in the mirror of futurity, he feels very happy.

8. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where’er these casual eyes are cast,
The mighty minds of old :
My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.
With them I take delight in weal
And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel
How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedew’d With tears of thoughtful gratitude.
My thoughts are with the Dead; with them
I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,
Partake their hopes and fears,
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

[Today’s students should learn a lesson that they must study hard for success in life. They should love their books.]

word-Meanings : dead = मृत लेखकों (की पुस्तकें)। behold = देखना। casual = सरसरी। are cast = पड़ जाती हैं। mighty minds = महान लेखक। never-failing = सच्चे। weal = आनन्द। relief = सान्त्वना। woe = दु:ख। owe = ऋणी होना। bedew’d = भीग जाते हैं। gratitude = कृतज्ञता। condemn = आलोचना करना। partake = भाग लेना। instruction = ज्ञान, शिक्षा। humble mind = नम्रतापूर्वक।

Questions

  1. Who are the never failing friends of a scholar?
  2. From where does the poet get delight and relief in woe ?
  3. What happens to the poet when he understands the books of the great writers ?
  4. Who are the mighty minds of old ?
  5. Write the word from the poem which means ‘hate’.

Answers:

  1. Books written by great authors are the never failing friends of a scholar.
  2. The poet gets delight and relief in woe from the books written by great old masters.
  3. The poet’s cheeks get wet with tears of gratefulness when he reads and understands the books of the great writers.
  4. The mighty minds of old are the great writers who are not living now.
  5. The word ‘condemn’ means hate.

9. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

How happy is he born or taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Untied unto the world with care
Of princely love or vulgar breath;
Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;
Who envies none whom chance doth raise
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given with praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;
[This poem gives us the qualities of a happy man. The poet says that a happy man is honest and truthful. He has complete control on his passions. He is not afraid of death. He is not disturbed by any fear or favour. He is free from rumours. He follows the voice of his own conscience. He dislikes false flattery. He is never jealous of others.]

Word-Meanings : serveth = सेवा करता है। will = इच्छा। armour = कवच। utmost skill = सर्वोत्तम योग्यता। passions = मनोवेग (प्रेम, क्रोध, घृणा, ईर्ष्या आदि)। still = सदैव। untied = बंधनमुक्त। vulgar breath = सामान्य लोगों की आलोचना। princely love = राजा की कृपा। rumours = अफवाहें। conscience = अन्तरात्मा। retreat = शरण। flatterers = चापलूसी करने वाले। state = स्थिति। feed = संतुष्ट करना। ruin = विनाश। oppressors = अत्याचार करने वाले। envies = ईष्र्या करता है। doth raise = ऊँचा उठाता है। vice = बुराई।

Questions

  1. Find out the qualities of a happy man in the first stanza of the poem.
  2. Why is a happy man not afraid of death ?
  3. A happy man does not care for anything. Comment.
  4. Who gets true happiness according to the third stanza of the poem ?
  5. Name the figure of speech in the line ‘whose armour is his honest thoughť.

Answers:

  1. A happy man is cool and calm in poverty and prosperity. Praise or blame, favour or fear do not effect him.
  2. A happy man is not afraid of death because he has a clean conscience.
  3. A happy man does not care for anything because he has complete control over his. passions.
  4. True happiness comes to one who does not envy others’ prosperity and follows the rules of a good life.
  5. Metaphor.

10. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest :
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes;
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown :
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty;
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

[Mercy is a chief human quality. It cannot be forced upon a person. It springs from a noble heart and blesses both the giver and the recipient. The merciful behaviour of a person shows his divine nature. Justice clad in mercy shines brighter.]

Word-Meanings : mercy = दया। strained = बलपूर्वक उत्पन्न होना। droppeth = बरसती है, गिरती है। twice = दोगुनी। becomes = शोभा देती है। throned monarch = राजा। heaven = स्वर्ग, आकाश। sceptre = राजदण्ड। temporal = सांसारिक। attribute = गुण। awe and majesty = राजा का भय तथा उसकी महान शक्ति | dread = भय sceptred sway = राजदण्ड अर्थात् शक्ति तथा अधिकार का शासन। sway = शासन। enthroned = पाई जाती है,अच्छा स्थान प्राप्त है। likest = सबसे अधिक समान। seasons = मिली दी जाती है।

Questions

  1. What does the poet mean by ‘twice blest’ ?
  2. Write two qualities of mercy.
  3. What does the word ‘It’ mean in the poem ?
  4. When does the temporal power become Godly power ?
  5. List the similes the poet has used in the poem.

Answers:

  1. Mercy blesses both the giver and the recipient because both find themselves on a higher level of life.
  2. Mercy makes a person spiritually great. A merciful person enjoys heavenly bliss.
  3. ‘It’ stands for the quality of mercy.
  4. The temporal or worldly power becomes Godly power when the worldly person becomes merciful.
  5. Two similes :
    • It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.
    • And earthly power doth then show likest God’s.

11. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He, returning chide;
‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?’
I fondly ask : but Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, ‘God doth not need
Either man’s work, or His own gifts; who best
Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best; His state
Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

[In this poem, Milton shows his deep disappointment that due to his blindness he is not able to make use of his poetic talent received from God. But soon he realises that his frustration is false. God does not demand any return for His gifts. The only service to God is to bear all the misfortunes with patience. The complete surrender to God’s will is the best service to Him.]

word-Meanings : consider = सोचता हूँ। light = आँखों की ज्योति। ere = पहले। talent = कविता लिखने का गृण। which is death to hide = यदि कवी की काव्य -प्रतिभा छिपा जाती है या समाप्त हो जाती है तो यह कवी की नैतिक मृत्त्यु को सामान है। lodged = पास रहा bent = उस्छुक, इस्चुक। maker = बनाने वाला (ईश्वर)। lest = कहीं ऐसा न हो की। chide = डांटना, फटकारना। exact = माँगना, आशा करना। denied = लो ली गई। fondly = प्रेमपूर्वक। patience = धैर्य। murmur = शिकायत, बड़बाड़ना। need = आवश्यकता mild = हल्का। yoke = बैल के कंधों पर रखा जाने वाला जुआ (यहाँ तात्पर्य मुसीबत, कष्ट से है)। state = स्थिति। kingly = शाही अर्थात् राजा जैसी। bidding = आज्ञा। post = तेज रफ्तार से यात्रा करते हैं। ocean = महासागर।

Questions

  1. What does the poet say in the first six lines of the poem ?
  2. What does he realize after sometime?
  3. What is the real service to God?
  4. Which word is personified in the poem ?
  5. Who serve God in the best possible way ?
    Or
    Who are the best servants of God?

Answers:

  1. The poet complains to God for making him blind in his youth.
  2. After sometime the poet realizes that God needs nobody’s service.
  3. Eagerly waiting for one’s turn to serve God is the real service to Him.
  4. ‘Patience’ has been personified.
  5. They also serve who have a ready mind and wait for their turn.

12. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow:

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

[Man is mad after material wealth. He has no time to enjoy the beauty of Nature. He is awfully busy in earning and spending. The poet wishes to be a Pagan and worship Greek gods and goddesses.]

Word-Meanings : late and soon = हर समय। getting and spending = कमाना और खर्च करना। lay waste = बर्बाद कर देते हैं। sordid = व्यर्थ को कार्य। boon = वरदाने। bares = उघाड़ देता है। bosom = वक्ष। howling = शोर मचाती हुई। up-gathered = इकट्ठा कर लिया। out of tune = अयोग्य। moves = प्रभावित करती है। Pagan = प्रकृति में अनेक देवताओं का वस् मानने वाला, प्रकृतिपूजक। glimpse = झाँकि। forlorn = एकाकी, उदास। Proteus = प्राचीन यूनानी कथाओं में बताया गया समुद्र का एक देवता। Triton = प्राचीन यूनानी कथाओं में बताया गया समुद्र का एक छोटा देवता। wreathed horn = शंख।

Questions

  1. How have the people of the world become, according to the poet ?
  2. “And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;”
    Which figure of speech is used in this line ?
  3. In what activities does man waste his powers ?
  4. What does the poet wish to be ?
  5. What glimpses will make the poet less lonely?

Answers:

  1. According to the poet, people of the world have become very selfish and greedy.
  2. Simile.
  3. He wastes his powers in earning and spending money.
  4. The poet wishes to be a Pagan.
  5. The glimpses of Proteus and Triton will make the poet less lonely.

13. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at His own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

[On his second visit to Tintern Abbey, the poet was overjoyed to see the unusual calm and tranquilty surrounding Tintern Abbey. All the buildings looked brighter in the smokeless atmosphere of the morning time. This time, Nature as a living beauty stirred his soul.]

Word-Meanings : Earth has not anything to show more fair = संसार में प्रातः कालीन लिंदन से सुन्दर कुछ भी नहीं है। a sight = प्रात:कालीन लंदन का दृश्य। dull of soul = संवेदनाशून्य। touching = प्रभावित करने वाला। majesty = भव्यता। doth = does bare = जो स्पष्ट दिखाई दे। domes = गुंबद। open unto the fields = खेतों तक फैले हैं। glittering = चमकते हुए। steep = उतरना। splendour = भव्यता। glideth = सरकना। mighty = शक्तिशाली। still = शांत।

Questions

  1. Interpret the line ‘Earth has not anything to show more fair’.
  2. Write the line in which simile is used.
  3. What does the poet see in the morning?
  4. How is the river flowing ?
  5. How does the city look ?

Answers:

  1. There is nothing more beautiful than the morning view at London.
  2. “This City now doth like a garment wear.’
  3. The poet sees ships, towers, domes, theatres, temples all glittering in the smokeless air of the morning.
  4. The river is flowing at His own sweet will.
  5. The city looks as if it were wearing a garment of the beautiful morning.

14. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

Love came to Flora asking for a flower
That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
The lily and the rose, long long had been
Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power.
Had sung their claims. “The rose can never tower
Like the pale lily with her Juno mien”.
“But is the lily lovelier?” Thus between
Flower faction rang the strife in Psyche’s bower.
“Give me a flower delicious as the rose
And stately as the lily in her pride”.
“But of what colour?”- “Rose red,” Love first chose,
Then prayed, – “No, lily-white, – or both provide”;
And Flora gave the lotus, “rose red” dyed
And “lily white,” queenliest flower that blows.

[Love went to Flora, the goddess of vegetation and requested her to give him the queenliest flower for his beloved. Some bards sang of the rose as the undisputed king of flowers. Others sang of lily as the proudest. Flora gave the lover lotus having both rose and white shades]

Word-Meanings : Flora = वनस्पतियों और फूलों की देवी। undisputed = निर्विवाद। lily = कुमुदिनी। high honour = उच्च सम्मान। bards = कविगण। bards of power = शक्तिशाली कवि। tower = सर्वोच्च स्थान पा लेना mien = आकृति Juno mien = वृष्टि-देव जुपिटर की पत्नी जूनो के सामान रंग – रूप वाली। flower faction = फूलों के मध्य प्रतिस्पर्धा। rang the strife = संघर्ष की दुंदुभी बजी। Psyche = प्रेम की देवी। bower = कुंज। delicious = मधुर। stately = शानदार | dyed = रंगा हुआ। queenliest = शानदार। blows = खिलता है।

Questions

  1. What does Love ask Flora for ?
  2. “The lily and the rose, long long had been Rivals for that high honour”…… Interpret the extract.
  3. What does the lily symbolize ?
  4. Who had sung for the rose and the lily?
  5. List the similes the poet has used in the poem.

Answers:

  1. Love asks Flora to give him a flower that could be made the queen of flowers,
  2. The lily and the rose had been the two rivals for the high honour for a long time.
  3. The lily symbolizes purity and innocence.
  4. The bards have sung for both the rose and the lily.
  5. ‘Like the pale lily’, ‘delicious as a rose’, ‘stately as the lily’ are the examples of simile in the poem.

15. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

[Thomas Gray points to the poor burial of the poor villagers in the poem ‘In the CountryChurch Yard’. The poor are born poor, live poor and are burried poorly.]

word-Meanings : curfew = शाम के किसी निश्चित समय पर घंटी का बजना। toll = घंटे का झनझनाना। knell = मृत्यु के समय बजने वाली झंकार। parting day = विदा होता हुआ दिन। lowing herd = रंभाते हुए जानवरों के झुण्ड। lea = घास का मैदान। ploughman = किसान। weary = थके हुए। fades = हल्का या मंदित हो जाना। glimmering = चमकते हुए। landscape = भूदृश्य। solemn = गंभीर। solemn stillness holds all the air = हवा शांत है और कोई शोर नहीं है। save = सिवाय। beetle = झींगुर। wheels = गति देते हैं। droning = झींगुरों की आवाज। drowsy = ऊँघते हुए। tinklings = घंटियों की आवाजें। lull = शांत करना। folds = भेड़ों के बाड़े। ivy mantled tower = आइवी बेल से छायी हुई। moping = चुपचाप रहने वाला। bower = रहने का स्थान। secret = गुप्त। solitary = एकान्त। yonder = वहाँ। molest = व्यवधान डालना। rugged = अंनपढ़ गंवार। mouldering heap = गरीब लोगों की कब्रे। narrow cell = कब्र। laid = लेटा हुआ है। forefathers = पूर्वज। hamlet = a very small village, एक छोटा गाँव। sleep = कब्र में लेटा हुआ है।

Questions

  1. Which figure of speech is used in the following line
    “The ploughman homeward plods his weary way.”
  2. What does the ringing of curfew bell mark ?
  3. Who is left in the darkness?
  4. What is the condition of the graves of the poor villagers ?
  5. What does the owl complain about?

Answers:

  1. “Weary way’ is an example of personification.
  2. The ringing of the curfew bell marks the end of the day.
  3. The poet is left alone in the darkness.
  4. The graves of the poor villagers are in decaying condition.
  5. The owl complains that wandering people are disturbing her loneliness.

16. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

[Man cannot judge God’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscense by his weak senses. He is in the sea, in the deep mines and in the furious storms. He performs miracles through these unique skills.]

Word-Meanings : light = धर्म, ईश्वर में विश्वास तथा ईश्वरीय कृपा का प्रकाश। move = चलना। mysterious = रहस्यमय। unfathomable = अथाह। mines = खानों। treasures up = छिपाये रखता है। designs = कार्यक्रम। sovereign = सर्वसत्तात्मक। breakin blessing = ईश्वरीय कृपा में परिणित हो जाते हैं। frowning = क्रोधित दिखाई देने वाला। providence = ईश्वरीय कृपा।

Questions

  1. Where can God plant His footsteps ?
  2. What is there behind His frowning providence ?
  3. How does God treasure up His bright designs ?
  4. What are the dreadful clouds symbol of ?
  5. “But trust Him for His grace.” What does the line mean?

Answers:

  1. God can plant His footsteps in the sea.
  2. There is a smiling face behind His frowning providence.
  3. God treasures up His bright designs with never failing skills.
  4. The dreadful clouds are symbol of mercy.
  5. According to the poet, we should have faith in the mercy of God.

17. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Here is the old Chitor, queen-like and crown’d
with deathless glory; in the long sad past
For thee the legend Rajput chiefs fell fast
Amid the shock of battle; and falling found
The lotus-heaven of the Lord. What streams
Of precious blood they shed ! What wars they waged
When marched and counter-marched the foes and blazed
Their swords in the dark hour of doom when dreams
Of pulsing life shone dim in them! They fought
For thee, they died for thee whene’er thy walls
Guarding thy palaces, temples, towers and halls,
Were by the mighty hordes of Moslems sought.
O Nurse and Mother of the brave and free !
How red with blood the path that leads to thee.

[The poet glorifies the bravery of the Rajput chiefs who smilingly sacrificed their lives for their motherland Chitor. They dared fight against the powerful Moslem invaders. The sands of Chitor turned red with their blood. But they defended the pride and prestige of Chitor.]

Word-Meanings : queen-like = रानी की तरह सुन्दर। deathless = अमर। glory = वैभव। sad past = दुःखद अतीत। legend Rajput chiefs = प्रसिद्ध राजपूत वीर। amid the shock of battle = लड़ते – लड़ते युद्ध क्षेत्र में ही शहीद हो गये। lotus heaven = कमल के सामान सुन्दर स्वर्ग (को सिधार गये)। streams = नदियाँ waged = लड़े। foes = शत्रु सेना। blazed = चमकाई। pulsing life = जीवन/जिन्दा रहने की तड़पन। dim = धुंधली। for her = चित्तौड़ तेरे लिये। thy = तुम्हारे तुम्हारी(चित्तौड़ को सम्बोधित)। hordes = सेना। doom = a terrible fate, usually ending in death, वीरगति प्राप्त करते समय।

Questions

  1. Who reached the heaven of the Lord ?
  2. Whom does the poet call the nurse and mother of the brave and free?
  3. What qualities do you find in the character of those who blazed their swords in the dark hour of doom?
  4. How did the path leading to Chitor turn red ?
  5. Which figure of speech is in ‘crowned with deathless glory’ ?

Answers:

  1. The brave Rajput chiefs reached the heaven of Lord, sacrificing their lives for their country.
  2. The poet calls Chitor the nurse and mother of the brave and free.
  3. The brave Rajputs were daring and sacrificing.
  4. The path leading to Chitor became red with the pious blood of the Rajputs who fell while fighting
  5. Personification figure of speech.

18. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Full are my pitchers and far to carry,
Lone is the way and long,
Why, O why was I tempted to tarry
Lured by the boatman’s song ?
Swiftly the shadows of night are falling;
Hear, O, hear! is the white crane calling,
Is it the wild owl’s cry?
There are no tender moon beams to light me,
If in the darkness a serpent should bite me,
Or if an evil spirit should smite me,
Ram Re Ram ! I shall die.
My brother will murmur, “Why doth she linger ?”
My brother will wait and weep,
Saying, “O safe may the great gods bring her,
The Jamuna’s waters are deep”.

[The soul travels on, but the wayside sights and sounds (wordly greed and relationship) lure her and hinder her progress in journey. The idea has been described through a gopi who is delayed in reaching home. Her anxious brother prays to God for her safe return.]

Word-Meanings : lone = सूना। to tarry = रुकना। lured = लालच में आकर। crane = सारस। there are no tender moon’s beams to light me = आकाश में चद्रमा भी नहीं है, अंधेरी रात है अतः रास्ता चलना कठिन है। serpent = बड़ा सा सांप। evil spirit = प्रेत आत्मा। smite = आक्रमण कर दे। murmur = परेशान Etant alegerii the Jamuna’s water are deep = यमुना गहरी है, कहीं ऐसा न हो की वह डूब जाये।

Questions

  1. What difficulties does the gopi feel in her homeward journey ?
  2. What does her brother pray to the great gods ?
  3. What fears come to the gopi’s mind ?
  4. What has tempted the gopi to linger in the dark night?
  5. Write down two pairs of words rhyming together.

Answers:

  1. The pitcher is filled with water and the way homeward is long, lonely and dark.
  2. Her brother prays to the gods for her safe return.
  3. The gopi fears that in the darkness a serpent might bite her or some evil spirit might attack her.
  4. A boat-man’s song has tempted her to linger in the dark night.
  5. (i) carry & tarry, (ii) falling and calling.

19. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

“Oh why does not our child return ?
Too long he surely stays.”
Thus to the Muni, blind and stern,
His partner gently says.
“For fruits and water when he goes
He never stays so long,
Oh can it be, beset by foes,
He suffers cruel wrong?
“Some distance he has gone, I fear,
A more circuitous round,
Yet why should he? The fruits are near,
The river near our bound.
“I die of thirst,- it matters not
If Sindhu be but safe,
What if he leave us, and this spot”,
Poor birds in cages chafe. (Sample Paper 2012)

[The poem describes the agony of the parents when their son Sindhu (Sharvan Kumar) does not return. The blind parents are not worried about their thirst and hunger. They are worried about his safety.]

Word-Meanings : beset = सामना होना foes = शत्रु circuitous = चक्क्रदार लम्बा रास्ता bound = सीमा। Sindhu = श्रवण कुमार। safe = सुरक्षित। chafe = फड़फड़ाना। cages = पिंजरा। stern = मजबूत।

Questions

  1. Why did the child leave his parents ?
  2. Which word in the extract means the same as “roundabout or deviating from a straight course”?
  3. Mention two fears which trouble the mother.
  4. Who do you think are the poor birds ?
  5. Which line tells you about the physical disability of the child’s father?

Answers:

  1. The child left his parents to fetch fruits and water.
  2. Circuitous round.
  3. The two fears in the mother’s mind are:
    • His enemies might have attacked and killed him.
    • He might have lost his way.
  4. Here the poor birds are Sindhu’s parents.
  5. Thus to the Muni, blind and stern.

20. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind find downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep. (S. S. Exam 2012)

[The poet is riding through the beautiful woods filled up with snow. He wants to stop there to enjoy the charming sight. The horse feels strange and shakes his harness bells. The poet realises that the woods are lovely to watch, but he has to perform his worldly duties and go for many miles before he would sleep.]

Word-Meanings : woods = जंगल to watch = निहारना fill up = ढके हुए queer = विचित्र farmhouse = खेत पर बना हुआ मकान harness = चमड़े की पट्टियाँ जो घोङे की पीठ पर उसके सजा को कसकर बाँधे रखती हैं। shake = झटका। sweep = बहाव। downy flake = नरम बर्फ के टुकड़े। deep = गहरा, घना। promises = वचन। to keep = बनाये रखना। mile = दूरी नापने की एक पुरानी इकाई जो लगभग 1.6 किलोमीटर के बराबर होती है।

Questions

  1. Where does the master of the woods live ?
  2. What strange fact does the horse notice ?
  3. What are the sounds the poet hears in the woods ?
  4. How does the horse alarm the poet ?
  5. What are the two ideas the word ‘sleep’ conveys ?

Answers:

  1. The master of the woods lives in the village.
  2. The horse thinks strange that his master intends to stop at a place without a farm house.
  3. The poet hears the sound of the falling snow flakes and the sound of the harness bells.
  4. The horse alarms the poet by shaking the bells of his harness.
  5. One is the sleep after the day’s work and the other is the permanent sleep after death.

21. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes,
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life Is come,
my love is come to me. (S.S. Exam 2013)

[The poet is overjoyed because his love has come to him. Natural sights and sounds charm the eye but beloved’s company surpasses all the joys.]

Word-Meanings : shoot = शाखा। halcyon = तूफानी। paddles = गति के साथ चलता है, तूफान का कोई प्रभाव नहीं होता। gladder = इन सभी चीजों की अपेक्षा अधिक खुश/प्रसन्न। down = समुर जैसे मुलायम और चिकने। pomegranates = अनार। peacocks with hundred eyes = मयूर के पंखों पर जगह जगह बने आँख जैसे चकते, उन्हें सौ आखें कहा गया है। vair = नीली सफेद धारियाँ। purple = बैंगनी।

Questions

  1. Why is the poet overjoyed ?
  2. What do the peacocks with hundred eyes signify ?
  3. What type of dais does the poet wish to be raised ?
  4. Why are the boughs bent ?
  5. Write two similes used in the poem.

Answers:

  1. The poet is overjoyed because his love has come to him.
  2. Peacocks with hundred eyes mean the countless beautiful and colourful spots on their feathers.
  3. The poet wishes a dais to be raised, beautifully painted and worked with silver and gold embroidery.
  4. The boughs are bent with thickest fruits.
  5. (i) My heart is like a singing bird, (ii) My heart is like an apple-tree.

22. Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players :
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. (S.S. Exam 2014)

[Shakespeare compares man to an actor. He plays the part of an infant and mostly passes his time in crying. Then he is a school going child, then a romantic lover, then a soldier and then a judge, etc.]

Word-Meanings : all the world’s a stage = सम्पूर्ण संसार एक रंगमंच है। merely players = केवल अभिनेता। exits = बाहर जाने के मार्ग। entrances = प्रवेश करने के मार्ग। in his time = अपने सम्पूर्ण जीवन-कल में plays many parts = बहुत-सी भूमिकाएँ निभाता है। his acts being seven ages = अपने समस्त जीवन में प्रत्येक वयक्ति प्रायः सात भूमिकाएँ निभाता है। infant = शिशु। mewling = रोते हुए। puking = उलटी करते हुए। whining = शिकायतें करते हुए, रोते-चिल्लाते हुए। satchel =पुस्तकों रखने के लिए बस्ता shining morning face = प्रातःकाल जैसा चमकता चेहरा। snail = घोंघा (धीरे चलने के लिए प्रसिद्ध जान्तु)। unwillingly = अनिच्छा से। sighing = आहें भरते हुए। furnace = भट्टी या धौंकनी। woeful ballad = वेदनापूर्ण विरह-गीत। made = लिखा हुआ। mistress’ eyebrow = प्रेमिका की भौंहें अर्थात् प्रेमिका की सुन्दरता। full of strange oaths = विचित्र प्रकार की गालियों का प्रयोग करते हुए। bearded = दाढ़ी वाला। pard = तेंदुआ। jealous in honour = सम्मान के मामले में ईष्र्यालु। sudden and quick in quarrel = झगड़ा करने को एकदम तैयार। seeking = पाना। bubble reputation = सम्मान जो पानी के बुलबुले के समान क्षणिक एवं सारहीन होता है। in cannon’s mouth = जीवन को खतरे में डालकर। round belly = तोंद। capon = मोटे-ताजे मुर्गे का माँस। lined = भरा हुआ। with good capon lined = शेक्सपियर व्यंग्य करते हुए उस प्रथा की चर्चा करते हैं जिसमें न्यायाधीशों को अपने पक्ष में करने के लिए उन्हें मोटे मुर्गे उपहार दिया जाते थे। eyes severe =कठोर द्रष्टि रखने वाली आँखें।.beard of formal cut = विशेष प्रकार के फैशन के अनुसार कटी हुई दाढी। wise = बुद्धिमान। saws = कहावतें।

Questions

  1. How many roles does a person play in his lifetime ?
  2. List the similes and metaphors the poet has used in the poem.
  3. How has the poet described the ‘justice’?
  4. Write two characteristics of a soldier.
  5. Which role do you find more interesting ? Why?

Answers:

  1. A person plays seven roles in his life –
    • infant
    • school going boy
    • young lover
    • brave bold soldier
    • judge
    • worldly wise person
    • grows old walking on his thin weak lags
  2. they are :
    • All the world is a stage (Metaphor)
    • Creeping like snails (Simile)
    • Sighing like furnace (Simile)
    • bearded like a pard (Simile)
    • bubble reputation (Metaphor)
  3. The poet has described justice as a round bellied person accepting fat cocks as bribe.
  4. A soldier is bold and ready to risk his life for his honour.
  5. The role of a young lover is most interesting because life is full of zeal, passion and romance.

23. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

Does the road wind uphill all the way ?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend

But is there for the night a resting-place ?
A roof for when the slow, dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at the door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek ?
Yea, beds for all who come. (S.S. Exam 2016)

[In the poem, life is compared to a journey uphill. According to the poem, as walking uphill is challenging, so is the life. It is always challenging. The poem is written using questions and answers.]

Word-Meanings : wind = घुमाव। uphill = दुसधय, कठिन। very end = बिलकुल अंतिम छोर। morn = प्रातः। wayfarers = पदयात्री। travel-sore = यात्रा से थका हुआ। sum = परिणाम, ईनाम। yea = हां।

Questions

  1. How long has one to walk to reach uphill ?
  2. What does ‘inn’ mean here?
  3. What act will determine the reward ?
  4. What are the fears of the wayfarer ?
  5. Why does the speaker wish for comforts ?

Answers:

  1. One has to walk the whole day from morning to evening to reach uphill.
  2. Here ‘inn’ means security. It offers rest for those who have spent the entire day climbing.
  3. The labour of climbing uphill will determine the reward.
  4. The fears of the wayfarer are whether he will find any inn or not, other wayfarers at night and comfort.
  5. The speaker wishes for comfort because he/she will have been walking uphill the whole day.

24. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

Behold her single in the field
Yon solitary Highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here or gently pass!”
Alone she cuts and binds the grain.
And sings a meloncholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound.
Is overflowing with the sound.
Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far off things.
And battles long ago;
Or is it some more humble lay.
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss or pain.
That has been and may be again? (S. S. Exam 2016)

[In this poem, the poet invites the passers-by to turn their attention to a young woman working alone in a field. She is harvesting grain and tying it into bundles and as she does so, she is singing a sad song that fills the valley. The poet advises that people should either stop and listen or pass quietly.]

Word-Meanings : behold = देखो। single = अकेले। yon (old use) = that/solitary = अकेली। highland = पहाड़ी क्षेत्र। lass = युवती। reaping = फसल काटते हुए। melancholy = खिन्नता, उदासी, उदास। perhaps.= शायद। plaintive = शोकाकुल। familiar = परिचित। vale = घाटी। profound = गहरी। overflowing = भरी हुई। grain = अनाज। binds = गट्ठर के रूप में बाँधती है। gently = धीरे से, शान्तिपूर्वक। yon = बहुत दूर, सुन्दर।

Questions

  1. What is the Highland girl doing by herself?
  2. ‘Stop here or gently pass! Why does the writer say so?
  3. According to the poet, what may be the theme of the girl’s song?
  4. What kind of song was being sung by the girl?
  5. The Vale profound is overflowing with the sound. Explain.

Answers:

  1. The highland girl is reaping and singing by herself.
  2. The writer says so, so that the singing girl doesn’t get disturbed.
  3. It may be about old unhappy far off things or it could be about battles fought long ago, some backward place, sad incidents of the present time, or about some natural sorrow, loss, or pain.
  4. A melancholy kind of song was being sung by the girl.
  5. That valley is full of her song.

25. Read the following poem and answer the questions that follow :

I know I shall meet my fate
Some where among the clouds above;
Those that fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan’s poor;
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law nor duty bade me fight,
No public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath.
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death (S. S. Exam 2017)

[In the poem, the speaker is an Irish air-man. He decides to fight in the World War I. He declares that he knows he will die fighting among the clouds (in the air as a fighter pilot). His past life seems a waste and his death will balance his life.]

word-Meanings : fate = (यहाँ मृत्यु। I guard = मैं रक्षा करता हूँ। Kiltartan = पश्चिमी आयरलैण्ड में एक देहाता का नाम। bade = कहा, आदेश दिया। impulse = आवेग उत्तेजना। drove = प्रबल रूप से प्रेरित किया। tumult = कोलाहल। in the clouds = (यहाँ) हवा या आसमान में। brought all to mind = अच्छे व बुरे सभी पक्षों (लाभ व हानि) पर विचार किया। the years to come = आने वाले दिन। the years behind = अतीत।

Questions

  1. Enlist the rhyming words in the poem.
  2. What mood of the poet does the poem reflect?
  3. waste of breath’, Comment on the phrase in the light of the poem.
  4. Give the poem a title.
  5. What lesson does this poem give?

Answers:

  1. Fate-hate, cross-loss, fight-delight, crowds-clouds.
  2. The poem reflects the poet’s serious, patriotic and to some extent hopeless mood.
  3. Here ‘waste of breath’ refers to the speaker’s life in future. His life would be a waste unless he takes part in the World War (I).
  4. Title : I know I shall meet my death. OR An Act to Balance Life
  5. Life is a waste of breath, unless we do something worthwhile.