The poem uses hyperbolic language in three places: lines 1, 9, and 11. In these lines, the speaker declares that London at dawn is the most beautiful, tranquil sight on Earth. What’s notable about this hyperbole is that the speaker uses it sincerely—overwhelmed by the moment, he or she truly believes that the sight is the most beautiful on Earth. While the lines sound hyperbolic to the reader, they may not sound that way to the speaker.
Even so, the first line of the poem is an opinion stated as fact, a clear sign of hyperbolic language. In it, the speaker claims that of all that the planet contains, both natural and human made, nothing is “more fair” than this vision of London at dawn. The line’s careful word choice emphasizes the hyperbole. By opening with the all-encompassing “Earth,” the speaker applies judgment to one of the largest fields possible, increasing the likelihood of the claim being hyperbolic.
When the speaker makes the claim, he or she uses “not any thing” rather than “nothing.” While this serves the technical purpose of giving the line an extra syllable so that it conforms to the 10-syllable pentameter (though it’s not purely iambic), it also stretches the claim’s key language. “In case there’s any doubt,” the speaker seems to be saying, “I’m going to enunciate my point clearly.” Given that the poem doesn’t speak merely for England or Europe, but the entire world, the reader might be justified in wondering on what authority the speaker makes this claim, but given the description that follows, it seems more sincere than self-conscious.
In lines 9 and 11, the speaker returns with hyperbolic language to describe the visual and emotional effects of the interaction between the sun and the city’s buildings. As in line 1, these lines use negative language (in line 1, “not any thing,” and here, repetition of “never”) to get across a simple point: the moment is incomparably beautiful. Line 9 reads almost as a repetition of line 1, except the sun takes the place of the Earth. The Earth has nothing more fair to show off, and the sun, at this moment, is at the top of “his” game in warmly illuminating the city. Here, the sun and Earth are teammates in a cosmic system, funneling all their powers of demonstration and illumination into the view of London from the River Thames.
If that sounds far-fetched, it’s because it is—it's hyperbolic. But line 11, while it deepens the hyperbole, provides an answer to the question raised in line 1, namely, on what authority does the speaker make his or her claim? In a poem told entirely from a single perspective, line 11 contains the first use of “I,” reminding the reader that as absolute as these claims may seem, they represent just one person's view of the world.