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When I Set Out for Lyonnesse Poem Class 8 English | Thomas Hardy |

When I Set Out for Lyonnesse (Poem)

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.

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.

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.

Brief Summary of When I Set Out for Lyonnesse

This poem ‘When I Set Out for Lyonnesse’  is about Thomas Hardy, who went to a parish. When he was there, people noticed two things about him. One thing they noticed was that he had a glow in his eyes. The other thing they noticed was that he had paper sticking out of his coat pocket. That piece of paper contained the draft of the poem ‘When I Set Out for Lyonnesse’ and it was inspired by a visit to Lyonnesse which is what the poet calls where he went on vacation. This poem highlights that a single visit to a place can change your life. It was a wonderful experience for the poet.

Explanation of When I Set Out for Lyonnesse

The poet went to Lyonnesse for church work. It was the winter season with the fog. The leaves on plants were covered in frost, and there were twinkling stars at night that guided him home.

The poet stayed in Lyonnesse for a while. He found that something was happening to him. When he tried to understand the feelings he was going through, no prophet or wise wizard could do it for him.

The poet’s eyes looked different after he came back from Lyonnesse. He was happy and everyone wanted to know the reason. They couldn’t figure out what brought this change. After he came back, he started enjoying his life more than before.

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NCERT Solutions of When I set out for Lyonnesse

Working with the poem (Page 106)

Question 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.

Answer:

(i) Rime

(ii) Starlight

(iii) Lonesomeness

Question 2: (i) Something happened at Lyonnesse. It was…..

(a) improbable.

(b) impossible.

(c) unforeseeable.

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

Answer:

(i) Unforeseeable

(ii) “No prophet durst declare;

Nor did the wisest wizard guess”.

Question 3: (i) Read the line (stanza 3) that implies the following.

‘Everyone noticed something, and they made guesses, but didn’t speak a word’.

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

Answer:

(i) “All marked with mute surmise”.

(ii) “My radiance rare and fathomless”.

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