P.B.Shelley in his poem “To A Skylark” greets the skylark as a joyous spirit. It is ‘an unbodied joy’. It sings, naturally and gracefully, from its high position in the sky. The bird soars high up in the sky. And it sings as it soars. The skylark. pours forth its sweet melody both in the early morning and in the pale evening. It is not visible. But its presence is always felt through its harmonious mucic. The whole earth and the sky are kept spellbound by that music.
The poet tries to find out the things which come close to the skylark in sweetness and charm. He feels that there is hardly anything to match the bird. The sweet melody of the bird is more enchanting than the drops from ‘rainbow clouds’. The song of the bird is more delightful than the light showers on the lovely and fresh flowers of spring.
Shelley compares the skylark to a poet hidden in the light of his own thoughts. That poet is singing hymns to transform the world in the end. The bird is, again, compared to a love-lorn, high-born maiden. The maiden sings doleful music from her palace tower to soothe her heart. The bird is also likened to a glow-worm hidden under grass and flowers. The glow-worm is invisible, but it scatters its golden colour on all sides. It is, again, like a rose hidden among its own green leaves. Though the flower itself is not visible, its sweet odour is scattered all around by the wind.
The poet feels that the song of the bird has no equal. The lyrics of love and the songs of revelry are nothing in comparison with the bird’s song. Even the songs which celebrate a marriage or victory, fall far behind the happy note of the skylark. The poet wonders to ascertain the source of the bird’s inspiration. The song of the skylark breathes the very spirit of happiness. In it, there is no touch of sadness, no feeling of pain and weariness. The bird lives beyond death. It knows the mystery of death. It is not afraid of the same. Its song, therefore, remains untouched by any sense of death and decay. To the poet, the song of the bird is more valuable than all the pleasant notes of melody and all the knowledge of great books.
Finally, Shelley appeals to the skylark to imbue him with half of its gladness. He will then enchant and enlighten the whole world with his own song.