She Walks in Beauty" is a poem written in 1814 by Lord Byron. One of Lord Byron's most famous, it is a lyric poem that describes a woman of much beauty and elegance. The poem appears to be told from the view point of third person omniscient. There are no hints as to the identity of the narrator, but it is believed that the narrator may be Byron himself. The poem is said to have been inspired by the vision of Byron's cousin by marriage in a mourning gown. It was the first of several poems to be set to Jewish tunes from the synagogue by Isaac Nathan, which were published as Hebrew Melodies in 1815.
"She Walks in Beauty" is one of Byron's most famous works. It was published in 1815 as a part of his volume Hebrew Melodies, which was set to music. The poem is said to have been inspired by an actual event in Byron's life. By one account, while at a ball, Byron happened upon Mrs. John Wilmot, his cousin by marriage. He was struck by her unusual beauty, and the next morning the poem was written. She was in mourning, wearing a black dress set with spangles, which would explain the opening lines;
" She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies "
However, Nathan, in his reminiscences of Byron, indicates that the subject of the poem may have been Byron's half-sister, Augusta.
"She Walks in Beauty" is considered by some to be Byron's tribute to the beauty of art.
The poem begins with the image of a woman who "walks in beauty like the night" (poem), which might lead the reader to ask how she could be seen. That question is answered in the next line when the speaker says that the night is cloudless and that the stars illuminate the sky, bringing into focus the imagery of light and darkness. When the first line of a poem is presented with no punctuation, and is followed by a line that clarifies the previous statement, it is referred to as enjambment, and this technique is used in the first four lines of the poem.
In the next few lines...