STANZA 1 Those lumbering horses in the steady plough, On the bare field – I wonder, why just now, They seemed terrible, so wild and strange, Like magic power on the stony grange. Contrast Lumbering means staggering or walking in an awkward way. Suggest the how tiring the horses’ work is. Imagery Gives an image of a bare, plain and uncultivated field. Rule of Three Simile Describe horses as magic, giving the poem a sense of mystery Imagery Gives an image of a farm building, giving the reader more ideas about the farm’s structure
STANZA 2 Perhaps some childish hour has come again, When I watched fearful, through the blackening rain. The hooves like pistons in an ancient mill Move up and down, yet seem as standing still. Contrast Childish and fear doesn’t go well together suggest strange and unknown events approaching Connotation Describes the rain as black, connotes a heavy storm Imagery Adds another image of a farm structure Simile Describes how to horses shuffle their legs when they stand still detaily. Enjambment To fully emphasize the horses seamlessly and restlessly shuffling
STANZA 3 Their conquering hooves which trod the stubble down Were ritual that turned the field to brown, And their great hulks were seraphim of gold, Or mute ecstatic monsters in the mould. Connotes: Dominance, power, personification (hooves don’t conquer, also refers to eating up with speed, power etc.) Ritual connotes machinery, both words take their true nature away from them. Alliteration helps to give the sense of machinery due to repetitive sound (machines repeat same process over and over) again taking their true nature away. Their bodies were brilliant, beautiful and angelic Or they were quie, blissful demons that were in the mould. juxtaposition
STANZA 4 And oh the rapture, when one furrow done, They marched broad breasted into the sinking sun! The light flowed off their bossy sides in flakes; The furrows rolled behind like struggling snakes. Anaphora, repetition again gives sense of a systematic way of doing something, alliteration also does this (bb, ss, ss) Personification (sides aren’t bossy and furrows aren’t struggling snakes. Also gives dominance to the horses by using adjective that connotes power. Struggling snakes personification makes the reader understand the effort put into creating each furrow and the use of the word rapture (joy) shows that each one is a celebration so effort is need to produce these.
STANZA 5 But when at dusk with steaming nostrils home They came, they seemed gigantic in the gloam. And warm and glowing with mysterious fire That lit their smouldering bodies in the mire. Rhyme scheme: a a b b Power imagery and its effect Connotation
STANZA 6 Their eyes as brilliant and wide as night Gleamed with a cruel apocalyptic light. Their manes the leaping ire of the wind Lifted with rage invisible and blind. Simile Juxtaposition Personification Great and Menacing
STANZA 7 Ah, now it fades! It fades! And I must pine Again for that dread country crystalline, Where the black field and the still-standing tree Were bright and fearful presences to me. Fear Imagery Almost describing life Fearful of horses. Childhood memories fading.