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The Glove and The Lions Analysis

Author: Poetry of Leigh Hunt Type: Poetry Views: 339

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King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day as his lions fought, sat looking on the court;
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride,
And 'mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly 'twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valour and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another;
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there."

De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;
She thought, the Count my lover is brave as brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I'll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face.
"By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat:
"No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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This is a wonderful poem that tells a whole story in a wry, theatrical and amusing way. The poet paints these characters and we can actually see the scene take place. It is wonderful read allowed, a perfect choice to use for a recitation or monologue, as I did decades ago. The lovely lady's "sharp, bright eyes and smiling lips" reveal her immdiately to be something of a schemer. I think the King's presence is important, because it is the lady's motive for showing off, and he states the closing moral in no uncertain terms. I love that the Count throws the glove in the lady's face and the King approves. I originally found this poem in a book illustrated by James Thurber, an odd choice but one that made me appreciate the humor in the poem, which otherwise might sound a little gory. It will always rank among my favorite poems.

| Posted on 2014-06-28 | by a guest

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it seems to me that the line \'With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same\' a sort of reference that some women, even though they experience all sorts of emotions, keep their face a mask, with their lips that always seemed to be smiling and eyes always bright.

| Posted on 2013-03-15 | by a guest

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This is only to make three points related to the poem:
Firstly, the phrase \"a king above\" seems to me to refer, not to Francis, but to God, the ultimate source of the order and justice so important to the poet.
Secondly, in his reference to the lady\'s eyes, the poet seems to notice that some persons are somehow different as relates to their psyche, specifically those persons whom we would today refer to as sociopaths, and that their lack of a conscience is often reflected in the distant way in which they seem to look, not at, but through people.
Thirdly, I think the moral of the story is that a selfish act, motivated by, say, vanity, negates love.

| Posted on 2013-03-05 | by a guest

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This is only to say that this has always been one of my favorite poems that I learnt at school. It was printed in my reader. I am so glad to see that it remains topical after so many years. Of Course I am a senior citizen.

| Posted on 2013-02-08 | by a guest

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The moral of the poem is that your lover in not a pet. Animal, a golden retriever, to be bandied around.Leigh Hunt\'s poems, like this for ex. Abou ben Adam, The Golden Plate. tend todepict a moral.

| Posted on 2012-02-17 | by a guest

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It\'s is a beautiful poem depicting that true love is not based on pride and outer appearence. The love needs no authentication in form of daring acts and a true lover can never set the life of a beloved in any peril. Any sort of vainglorious thinking and act leads to the end of a lovable relationship.

| Posted on 2012-01-30 | by a guest

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The most suitable phrase to describe this poem would be \"pride comes before the fall\"
the lady has been portrayed as a negative character and there is also a contradiction between her elegant, ladylike appearance and her proud, vain behavior.
The count was a man who loved her truly. However, he was unaware of this dark minded side. If what she had done was not to get attention and make a statement, his love for her would have definitely allowed him to go get her glove but the fact that the lady thought she was greater made his love for her disappear .
The role of the king was very neutral and his presence added to the grandness of the entire event. His final comment about

| Posted on 2011-12-03 | by a guest

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The theme of this poem is not to push your luck. The lady had the love of the count, but she wanted more glory. She dropped her glove into the lion arena. If the count was injured or killed she would prove his affection toward her. But, it didn\'t go that way. The count got it, but then King Francis said only vanity would do that.

| Posted on 2011-01-09 | by a guest

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The overall meaning or message of this poem is not to push your luck.
The lady was lucky to have the love of the Count, but she wanted more glory. She threw her glove to see whether he would dare fetch it. If he were injured or killed she would gain glory by showing how valuable her affection was to the count. But her plan backfired, the Count rescued the glove, showing his bravery, but then rejected her love.

| Posted on 2009-04-11 | by a guest

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