Levels of beaut in "She walks in beauty".
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While ostensibly about a specific woman, the poem extends to encompass the unobtainable and ideal. The lady is not beautiful in herself, but she walks in an aura of Beauty (Flesch 1). In contrast to popular conceptions, her beauty is not easily described as brilliant or radiant, but it is also dark “like the night” (line 1) However, “all that’s best of dark and bright” (line 3) meet in her face and eyes, suggesting that while she walks in a dark beauty, she is herself a brighter, more radiant beauty. To further convolute the image, the woman is described as having “raven tress[es]” (black hair) (line 9), connecting her to the darkness, while the “nameless grace” (line 8) “lightens” her face—possibly a play on the word, meaning the grace alights on her face, but also including the brighter aspect of lightening her countenance.