Author: admin, 15.10.2015Lines 7-8 –‘And every spirit upon earth seemed favourless as I’. The last line of the first stanza and the second stanza are concerned with men. Lines 1-2 – ‘So little cause for carolings of such ecstatic sound’. This confuses the poet as there is no good reason for the bird to be singing.
The poem takes place sometime in winter and starts out with the poet leaning on a gate which leads to small forest.
The use of the word ‘scored’ suggests that all the poet sees is destruction when he looks at the ‘bine-stems’.
This insinuates that it is late as any normal person at this time would be inside, by the fire in their home, keeping warm. The poet states that the land is a map of everything that has happened over the course of the century. The alliteration of ‘c’ as well as ‘Century’s corpse’ intensifies the atmosphere of gloom and deathliness. The ‘pulse of germ and birth’ may mean that any throbbing heartbeat of germination is dead (‘was shrunken hard and dry’). This line means that every spirit on the planet seems as lifeless as the poet, as hard and dry as the shrunken pulses of germ and birth.
This gives the impression that the thrush is giving up its life to fight the gloomy environment. Also, the sibilance (repetition of ‘s’ and ‘c’ sounds) creates a soft music, just like what the bird is singing. This proves that the thrush is happy and the poet may be a little comforted by the thrush’s song. The rhyme scheme is regular and the lines are structured as tetrameter followed by trimester (an 8 syllable line followed by a 6 syllable line).
It is dusk on the last day of the nineteenth century and the atmosphere is dead and motionless. These two lines confirm that this poem is taking place in the depth of winter and so it is very grey. The use of the simile which compares the ‘bine-stems’ like ‘strings of broken lyres’ indicates that there is no happiness or music. By personifying ‘Century’, the poet gives it human-like characteristics as if the century itself is dead and the corpse is left behind as the land that the poet is observing (this poem was written at the end of the 18th century). There is enjambment in the first four lines of this stanza which draws the attention of the reader to the next line.
The use of the word ‘terrestrial’ suggests that the poet believes this is bird is not from Earth as it is flinging its soul to the ghostly atmosphere. This makes the poem flow with a certain beat, just like the beat of the song the bird is singing. Suddenly, when the thrush is introduced in the third stanza, the bird brings the poem to life by singing. An evensong is a service of evening prayers psalms and so this introduces religious themes into the play. It’s strange for the speaker as there is no reason for the bird to be cheerful at such a time.
The speaker then realises that there is some hope that the thrush is aware of but he is not, giving him hope for a better century.
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