Harp Analysis

The Harp remains a symbol of Ireland as it so beautifully captures the simple strength and elegance of the country. Moore’s poem understands this through imagery that tells of Irelands own story.


The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness         5
  Have waken’d thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill;
But, so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness,
  That ev’n in thy mirth it will steal from thee still.


In these lines he captures a personified harp which is a stand in symbol for Ireland. “The warm lay of love” and “Light note of gladness” are these beautiful ethereal images of Ireland as peaceful. While there was a “deep sign of sadness” it seems he is saying Ireland has overcome this. To compare Ireland to a personified harp is interesting because harps, in history, are these beautiful in intruments generally played by beautiful girls, but the sound is light and almost quite haunting. It seems apt that thus beautiful country would “play” the notes of a haunted past or of darker times.


-cait grabill


One thought on “Harp Analysis

  1. I think the most original part of this post was both claiming that Ireland and the harp were personified. I think as an improvement I would like to see is more about the imagery used in the poem. Did it imply that the harp was worth playing, just as culture was worth pursuing?


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