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A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal (Text)

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

Word Notes

  1. Slumber: A deep sleep or state of unconsciousness.
  2. Spirit: The non-physical part of a person, often associated with the soul or essence.
  3. Seal: In this context, it means to close off or keep something hidden or protected.
  4. Earthly: Relating to the Earth or the physical world.
  5. Diurnal: Referring to the daily cycle of day and night or the rotation of the Earth.

Explanation of the Poem

A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

In this stanza, the speaker describes a state of slumber or deep sleep that has sealed his spirit. The word “seal” suggests a closing off or hiding of the spirit. The speaker emphasizes that during this slumber, he had no human fears. The speaker also refers to a feminine presence (Lucy) that seems impervious to the passage of time. This presence is described as unaffected by the “touch of earthly years,” suggesting an eternal quality.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

In this stanza, the speaker describes the current state of Lucy mentioned in the previous stanza. The presence is depicted as motionless and lacking any force or vitality. It is portrayed as being unable to hear or see, implying a complete detachment from the physical world. The presence is then described as being “rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,” indicating that it is part of the Earth’s daily cycle of rotation. It shares the same fate as rocks, stones, and trees, symbolizing its integration into the natural world.

Figures of Speech in the Poem

Assonance: Assonance is utilized to create the repetition of vowel sounds within a line. For instance, we observe the repeated sound of /i/ in the phrase “A slumber did my spirit seal” and the sound of /o/ in “No motion has she now, no force.”

Alliteration: This device involves the use of initial consonant sounds in consecutive words. The poem showcases alliteration, such as the repetition of the /r/ sound in “rolled round,” or the /s/ sound in “spirit seal.”

Consonance: Consonance is employed to repeat consonant sounds within a line. We can identify the repetition of the /r/ sound in “Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course” and the /s/ sound in “A slumber did my spirit seal.”

Imagery: In this poem, imagery is evident in phrases such as “She seemed a thing that could not feel,” “No motion has she now, no force,” and “Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course.”

Metaphor: Metaphor, a figure of speech that implies a comparison between dissimilar objects, is utilized by the poet. Notably, he employs the metaphor of referring to his beloved as a “thing.”

Polysyndeton: This literary device highlights the connection between repeated nouns or verbs through the use of conjunctions. The poem effectively employs polysyndeton, as seen in the phrase “With rocks, and stones, and trees.”

MCQs & Answers from A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

1. Who wrote the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Robert Frost
(b)William Shakespeare
(c)William Wordsworth
(d)William Butler Yeast

Answer : (c)William Wordsworth

2. The poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ portrays

(a)Beauty of nature
(b)Death of a loved one
(c)Death of poet’s pet
(d)Love for humanity

Answer : (b)Death of a loved one

3.The poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ is dedicated to the author’s

(a)Beloved
(b)Parents
(c)Friend
(d)Pet

Answer : (a)Beloved

4.The poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ reflects the thinking of the author-

(a)Regarding his job
(b)Regarding the path he chose in his life
(c)Regarding his determination for success
(d)Regarding his beloved’s death

Answer : (d)Regarding his beloved’s death

5.What is the meaning of ‘slumber’?

(a)Sorrow
(b)Weeping
(c)Sleep
(d)Death

Answer : (c)Sleep

6.What sealed the spirit of the poet in the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Deep sleep
(b)Anger
(c)Violence
(d)Beauty of nature

Answer : (a)Deep sleep

7.“I had no human fears”- Who didn’t have any human fears?

(a)The poet
(b)Poet’s beloved
(c)Poet’s mother
(d)The reader

Answer : (a)The poet

8.“A slumber did my spirit seal”- What does this mean?

(a)Agony has destroyed his life
(b)Sleep has made him lazy
(c)Deep sleep keeps him alive
(d)Poet’s soul is drifted into a deep sleep

Answer : (d)Poet’s soul is drifted into a deep sleep

9.Whose death has made the soul of the poet ‘a seal’ in the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Poet’s pet
(b)Poet’s mother
(c)Poet’s beloved
(d)Poet’s imaginations

Answer : (c)Poet’s beloved

10.What kind of mood do you think the poet has in the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Merciful
(b)Depressive
(c)Sleepy
(d)None of the above

Answer : (b)Depressive

11.In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, the word ‘spirit’ represents

(a)Ghost
(b)Poet’s soul
(c)Poet’s beloved’s soul
(d)Reader’s soul

Answer : (b)Poet’s soul

12.“I had no human fears”- What does this mean?

(a)The poet was fearless
(b)The poet didn’t have any realization of truth
(c)The poet was courageous
(d)Poet’s beloved was courageous

Answer : (b)The poet didn’t have any realization of truth

13.“She seemed a thing that could not feel”- Who is ‘she’ here?

(a)Poet’s mother
(b)Poet’s beloved
(c)Poet’s pet
(d)Poet’s friend

Answer : (b)Poet’s beloved

14. In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, ‘earthly years’ indicates-

(a)Years in earth
(b)Materialistic phase
(c)Passing of time
(d)None of the above

Answer : (c)Passing of time

15. In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, the poet is dealing with

(a)Frustration
(b)Happiness
(c)Cruelty
(d)Sadness

Answer : (d)Sadness

16. The name of the poet’s beloved whose death has been portrayed in the poem ‘‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ is

(a)Lily
(b)Lucy
(c)Liril
(d)None of the above

Answer : (b)Lucy

18.In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, the poet was _________ after his beloved’s death. [choose the appropriate option]

(a)Reluctant
(b)Indifferent
(c)Vanished
(d)Deeply hurt

Answer : (d)Deeply hurt

19.“No motion has she now, no force”- Who is ‘she’ here?

(a)Poet’s mother
(b)Poet’s beloved
(c)Poet’s long-gone sister
(d)Poet’s friend

Answer : (b)Poet’s beloved

20.“No motion has she now, no force”-What does this indicate?

(a)Poet’s beloved is no more
(b)Poet’s beloved is paralyzed
(c)Poet’s beloved is unable to move
(d)Poet’s beloved has become immobile

Answer: (a)Poet’s beloved is no more

21.In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, the poet’s beloved has been described as ___________

(a)Emotionless
(b)Motionless
(c)Weak hearted
(d)Happy soul

Answer: (b)Motionless

22.“She neither hears nor sees”-Who neither hears nor sees?

(a)Poet
(b)Poet’s mother
(c)Poet’s friend
(d)Poet’s beloved

Answer: (d)Poet’s beloved

23.In the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, the poet mentioned that his beloved can neither ______ nor _______.

(a)hear, see
(b)hear, love
(c)hear, smile
(d)hear, sing

Answer: (a)hear, see

24.What is the meaning of ‘diurnal’ in the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Yearly
(b)Daily
(c)Monthly
(d)Deeds

Answer: (b)Daily

25.“Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course”- What does this mean?

(a)Lucy is within the earth
(b)Lucy is rotating with the earth
(c)Lucy smiles from the sky
(d)Both (a) and (b)

Answer: (d)Both (a) and (b)

26.“With rocks and stones and trees”- Explain.

(a)Poet is united with rocks and stones and trees
(b)Poet’s beloved is a part of this earth now
(c)Poet’s beloved is united with rocks and stones and tress
(d)Both (b) and (c)

Answer: (d)Both (b) and (c)

27.What does the poet mean in the last two lines of the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Poet’s beloved will remain in this earth
(b)Poet’s beloved is united with earth’s tress and stones and rocks
(c)Poet’s beloved will be present during earth’s everyday course of rotation
(d)All of the above

Answer: (d)All of the above

28.Choose the word from the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’ that describes the earth’s movement.

(a)Stone
(b)Spirit
(c)Rolled
(d)Diurnal

Answer: (d)Diurnal

29.“With rocks and stones and trees”- What does this line suggest?

(a)Earth filled with rocks, stones and trees
(b)After death, the body decomposes within the earth and assimilates with it
(c)After death, one’s life is beyond rocks, stones and trees
(d)None of the above

Answer: (b)After death, the body decomposes within the earth and assimilates with it

30.Indicate the poetic devices used in the poem ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’?

(a)Rhyme scene
(b)Alliteration
(c)Simile
(d)Both (a) and (b)

Answer: (d)Both (a) and (b)

31. How does the speaker describe the subject of the poem?

a) Unable to feel anything
b) Immortal and timeless
c) Devoid of motion and senses
d) Symbolic of nature’s beauty

Answer: c) Devoid of motion and senses

32. What does “earth’s diurnal course” refer to?

a) The rotation of the earth
b) The journey of life
c) The passage of time
d) The cycle of seasons

Answer: a) The rotation of the earth

33. What elements are mentioned alongside the subject in the final line?

a) Fire, wind, and rain
b) Flowers, birds, and sky
c) Rocks, stones, and trees
d) Rivers, mountains, and valleys

Answer: c) Rocks, stones, and trees

34. What type of child was Lucy?

(a) sweet
(b) rough
(c) ugly
(d) all of the above

Answer: (a) sweet

35. What is Lucy not able to feel after death?

(a) nothing
(b) touch of time spent on the earth
(c) feelings
(d) poet’s feelings

Answer: (b) touch of time spent on the earth

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