“And out of its leprous hide sprouting leaves.”–What does the expression Meprous hide’ refer to? What does its leprous hide’ bear? (or What grows from it?) What is the significance of the expression? Bring out the irony suggested here.

The expression, ‘leprous hide’, refers to the bark of the tree which looks like the skin of a leprosy patient. It is brown, dry and rough.

Leaves grow from its ‘leprous hide
The poet here personifies the tree by describing its bark as ‘leprous’. He uses a medical term to personify the tree.

The expression is ironical. Leprosy usually eats away the body and hampers normal growth. But here, leprous hide is a source of growth. It bears the leaves that produce food. It is not a symbol (image) of decay, but of growing life. This kind of image certainly makes the poem a modern one.

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