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River of Life, The Analysis



Author: Poetry of Thomas Campbell Type: Poetry Views: 385

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The more we live, more brief appear

Our life's succeeding stages;

A day to childhood seems a year,

And years like passing ages.



The gladsome current of our youth,

Ere passion yet disorders,

Steals lingering like a river smooth

Along its grassy borders.



But as the careworn cheek grows wan,

And sorrow's shafts fly thicker,

Ye stars, that measure life to man,

Why seem your courses quicker?



When joys have lost their bloom and breath,

And life itself is vapid,

Why, as we reach the Falls of Death

Feel we its tide more rapid?



It may be strange—yet who would change

Time's course to slower speeding,

When one by one our friends have gone,

And left our bosoms bleeding?



Heaven gives our years of fading strength

Indemnifying fleetness;

And those of youth, a seeming length,

Proportion'd to their sweetness.





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

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I was in school when I red this poem. My teacher translated very good in my own language “Punjabi”. I always loved this peom and it changed me and my life. It’s very inspirational!

| Posted on 2017-10-12 | by a guest


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This poem was discovered by me when I was working on my English Project given to me in my Summer vacations.
This poem is simply a comparison of life with the movements of the river. This poem says that the older we get the more short appear our lives stages; a day in our childhood feels like a year and years like passing ages. In our youth we have passion accompanied by disorders. As we grow old, the sadness in our life grows and we feel like the time has accelerated. When the joys have lost their happiness and joy, it feels like death is approaching us rapidly. The poet also says that the reduction of time may seem strange but who can change the time's speed when all our friends are dead. The poet then finishes by saying that God gives our years of old age a great speed to pass but our years of childhood and youth a slow and steady pace.

| Posted on 2015-10-27 | by a guest


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This poem basically compares a person\'s life to a river. As a river flows through different parts of its \"life\" so do human beings. Hours, days, years and ages pass in a human\'s life, but a river will always contain youth and possess a young passion. As people age, their \"careworn cheeks grows wan,\" meaning that the beauty that once lingered in their faces is now aged, wrinkled and sick with fatigue. When sadness\' impact has grown stronger and stronger over the years, one will know that their life is almost over. When everything has lost its beauty to you and you feel that you should leave just like your friends have left you. The word indemnifying is defined as \"to compensate for damage or loss\" and fleeting as \"passing swiftly or vanishing quickly\". When Heaven is mentioned, you know that death is a possibility floating around the speaker\'s mind and that it will be the only way to compensate for the length of his flowing life.

| Posted on 2012-04-01 | by a guest


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This poem, introduced to me many years ago, and compelling ever since, is wonderfully constructed and employs classical ascendant structure (youth to middle age to old) as with Sea Fever (Morning, Day, Evening) and Eldorado (the various definition of "shade" proceeding from innocence to doom)

Visualization is strong from delicate, gentle stream to rapids and wonderfully meshes with the poet's analogy of the stages of life. Use of the word "vapid" is simply gravy.

The final stanza is structured and composed exquisitely with the second line employing only two words to achieve the 7 syllables...with 5 of them alloted to the wonderful word "indemnifying".

"Proportioned to their Sweetness" as the final line is simply...well...Perfect.

This poem achieves the mathematical equivalent of "closed form". It is not possible to improve upon it. Each word of each line (see 'Invictus' for another example) is absolutely as it should be in harmony, balance, choice and delivery. It cannot be otherwise than what it is. I believe it is constructed at the level of perfection...and the beauty of it is to have it memorized and play it back...anytime...anywhere...in any cadence...with wondrous lingering over the final stanza...and then you can do it again!

I would have liked to meet Thomas Campbell.

Shane
10-6-05

| Posted on 2005-10-07 | by Approved Guest




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