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For 2025 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
Class 10
Class 12

For Anne Gregory | Board Exam 2023

Lesson Architecture:

  • Theme

  • summary

  • Stanza-Wise Explanation

  • NCERT Solution

  • Short Questions


  • The central idea of 'For Anne Gregory' is the difference between Human and Divine love.

  • Human love is circumscribed by what can be seen, while Divine love goes deeper than that.

  • A person's outward beauty has nothing to do with God's love.

  • The poem dictates to a great extent the love that humans feel for one another.


  • The poem 'For Anne Gregory' describes human love and compares it with Divine love.

  • Human love is influenced by external factors, such as a person's physical beauty.

  • God, on the other hand, loves us for who we are and not how we look.

  • The poet says to Anne Gregory that young men who despair for her love do not love her for herself - they love her for the beauty of her golden locks ( hair).

  • Nor shall these young men ever love her for anything but her outward beauty.

  • To this Anne says that she will colour her hair in a less appealing hue so that men love her for herself.

  • But the poet is of the opinion that only God is capable of giving such love. Such love is not possible among humans.

Stanza-Wise Explanation

Stanza 1

“Never shall a young man,

Thrown into despair

By those great honey-coloured

Ramparts at your ear,

Love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.”


1. Thrown into despair : Plunged into a situation without hope

(निराशा में डूब गया)

2. honey-coloured : Golden Hair

3. Ramparts at your ear: The poet compares Anne's hair to the walls of a fort to convey the idea that her beauty is impenetrable. Her golden hair is long and thick like the ramparts (walls) of a fort guarding her beautiful face.

4. Love you for yourself alone And not your yellow hair

Young men who claim to love Anne Gregory love her for her physical beauty and not for her inner beauty.

Stanza 2:

“But I can get a hair-dye

And set such colour there,

Brown, or black, or carrot,

That young men in despair

May love me for myself alone

And not my yellow hair.”


Carrot: red

Paraphrase: Anne Gregory means to say that if she were to dye her hair black, brown or red- less attractive colours-men would be less interested for her physical beauty and would come to appreciate and love her for who she really is.

Stanza 3:

“I heard an old religious man

But yesternight declare

That he had found a text to prove

That only God, my dear,

Could love you for yourself alone

And not your yellow hair.”


Yesternight: Old English for 'last night'


  • The religious man told the poet that he had found a book to prove that only god loves a person unconditionally for who s/he reallly is.

  • The poet is trying to counter Anne Gregory's claim that men will become attracted to Anne for her inner beauty if she dyes her hair to less attractive colours like brown, carrot-red or black.

  • The poet tells her that only god can love her for her inner beauty, and not any young men who would always love her for her physical appearance which is represented by her golden hair.

Rhyme Scheme: abcbdb

Literary Device:

  1. Metaphor

​honey-coloured ramparts at your ear

​2. Alliteration

​Love you for yourself alone/ Your Yellow hair/Brown or Black

​3. Repetition

Yellow hair, despair repeated in the poem.

​4. Anaphora

​Anaphora: Repeated use of a word at the beginning of two lines (That he….That only god)

NCERT Solution

Thinking about the Poem

1. What does the young man mean by "great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear?" Why does he say that young men are "thrown into despair" by them?

Ans. The "great honey-coloured/Ramparts at your ear" is Anne's honey blond hair .Young men are thrown into despair because they become captivated by its beauty.They fall in love with Anne and yearn to get her love.

2. What colour is the young woman's hair? What does she say she can change it to?Why would she want to do so?

Ans. Her hair is golden yellow. She says she can change it to brown or black or carrot red. She would want to do so because she wishes to be loved for herself and not for her blond hair.

Short Questions

1.How did Anne Gregory plan to test if men truly loved her inner beauty?

Ans: On being told by the poet that the young men loved her for her golden hair, Anne replied that she would get her hair dyed in less attractive colours like black, brown or orange so that men do not fall for her outer appearance and love her for her inner beauty.

2. How did the poet react when Anne Gregory suggested dying her hair?

Ans The poet told Anne Gregory that only god could love her without judging her for her outward appearnace. He was certain that whoever she met would love her for her outer beauty. Dying her hair a different shade would not force young men focus on her inner beauty.

3.What message does the poem 'For Anne Gregory' convey?

Ans: The poem conveys the message that inner beauty is far more important than physical beauty. The love of human being depends on factors that are external to a person's true nature. For example, young men may fall in love with the physical beauty of women. But God's love sees no such things. It only sees the beauty and steadfastness of the human soul.

4. How does the poet describe Anne Gregory's hair?

Ans: The poet describes Anne's hair as honey-coloured. They are long and thick like the ramparts of a fort guarding her beautiful face. They make young men fall in love with her and drive them to despair.

5. Do you think Anne Gregory's golden hair is a boon or a curse for her? Elaborate.

Ans: Anne Gregory's golden hair seems to be a curse for her. Young men are obsessed with her golden hair so much so that they are not able to see her inner beauty. Her outward appearance prevents the young men from seeing her internal beauty.



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