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Reaper and the Flowers, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Type: Poetry Views: 650

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There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

And, with his sickle keen,

He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,

And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have naught that is fair?" saith he;

"Have naught but the bearded grain?

Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,

I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,

He kissed their drooping leaves;

It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"

The Reaper said, and smiled;

"Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,

Transplanted by my care,

And saints, upon their garments white,

These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain,

The flowers she most did love;

She knew she should find them all again

In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,

The Reaper came that day;

'T was an angel visited the green earth,

And took the flowers away.


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

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I believe that this poem tells of the Reaper taking a mother's child(ren) to Heaven and explaining that they will be better off and that she will see them some day again while being subtle about it. I think Longfellow uses flowers to represent children because they are often considered pure and sacred, just like a child. Longfellow also tells of how the Reaper is just doing his job. He doesn't do it because he is angry, evil, or just loves to be cruel. He is an angel that does it so that he may guide people to Heaven for God.

| Posted on 2005-09-11 | by Approved Guest

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