- Read the excerpt from ‘Adventures in a Banyan Treeand answer the questions that follow.
Though the house and grounds of our home in India were Grandfather’s domain, the magnificent old banyan tree was mine-chiefly because Grandfather, at the age of sixty-five, could no longer climb it. Grandmother used to tease him aboout this, and would speak of a certain Countess of Desmond, an English woman who lived to the age of 117, and would have lived longer if she hadn’t fallen while climbing an apple tree. The spreading Branches of the banyan tree, which curved to the ground and took root again, forming a maze of arches, gave me endless pleasure. The tree was older than the house, older than Grandfather, as old as the town of Dehra, nestling in a valley at the foot of the Himalayas.
- Why did the boy feel that the magnificent old banyan tree was his own?
- What made grandmother tease Grandfather?
- Who is the English woman mentioned in the passage? What is her significance?
- What gave the boy endless pleasure?
- How did the speaker describe the banyan tree to show it’s old age?
- Read the lines from the poem ‘Lines Written in Early Spring’ and answer the questions that follow.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man?
- Where was the poet sitting when he heard a thousand musical notes?
- What do happy thoughts bring to the poet?
- What does the phrase ‘To her fair works did Nature link’ mean?
- Pick out an instance of alliteration from these lines.
- Read the following lines of the poem ‘The Ballad of Father Gilligan‘ and prepare a note of appreciation.
Once,while he nodded in a chair
At the moth-hour of the eve
Another poor man sent for him,
And he began to grieve.
‘I have no rest, nor joy, nor peace
For people die and die.
And after cried he, ‘God forgive me!
My body spake not I!’
- The boy felt so because the grandfather could not climb the banyan tree anymore.
- Grandmother used to tease Grandfather as he could not climb the banyan tree at the age of sixty five.
- Countess of Desmond is the English woman mentioned in the passage. She could climb up the apple tree at the age of 117.
- The spreading branches of the banyan tree, which curved to the ground and took root again, forming a maze of arches gave the boy an endless pleasure.
- The tree was older than the house, older than Grandfather and as old as the town of Dehra.
- These lines convey the fact that man does all wrong -doings to his own kind as well as nature. This thought grieved him very much.
- What man has made of man.
- The poem ‘The Ballad of Father Gilligan’ by W.B.Yeats is about the old priest Father Gilligan who rendered selfless service to the poor and the needy in his parish.The central idea of the poem is that God is merciful.He sends help for those in need of it. As the title suggests the poem is written in the form of a ballad . The poem is set in a countryside. Peter Gilligan was tired and exhausted as he was busy performing his priestly obligations day and night. The parish was effected by a deadly epidemic. Hence half were sick and many were lying under green sods. On such a day of tiredness, while he was asleep on a chair, another poor man sent for him. He was so tired that he cried out to God in distress for having no rest nor joy nor peace. But the next moment itself he asked forgiveness from God as he realises it to be his priestly obligation to reach the needy. He knelt and prayed; leaning on a chair he again fell asleep. He was so tired that he slept the whole night. The next morning, with an intense feeling of guilt, father Gilligan rushes to the poor man’s house on his horse. He rode the horse recklessly through rocky lane and fen keeping his life at stake. When he reached the poor man’s house the man’s wife was surprised to see the priest again. She informs him that the man had already died happily as he received the last rites from father Gilligan. At this father Gilligan cried out in joy saying that God had sent one of his angels to help him at the time of distress. Father Gilligan praised God for showing pity and care towards him. The poem is written in simple diction with multiple stanzas of four lines each. There is a regular rhyme throughout the poem and has a rhyme scheme of abcb. The poem is abundant with imagery. The priest nodding in a chair, the night sky with millions of stars, the leaves shaking in the wind, the priest riding on a horse by rocky lane and fen are some examples of imagery. The tone of the poem is sad and depressing at first but soon it turns hurried and suspenseful as the father rushes to the sickman’s house . Finally it turns hopeful highlighting the presence of the Almighty.