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In this poem Shelley personifies the
HELPS TO STUDY
What does the second stanza mean line tells you?
The third stanza relates to the fifth stanza 3
sun; what comparisons are made?
What comparisons are found in the pleasing? fourth stanza 3
What pictures do you get from the
Which stanza is most musical and
APOSTROPHE TO THE OCEAN
(From “Childe Harold,” Canto IV.)
THERE is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean—roll!
He sinks into thy depths, with bubbling groan– Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.
His steps are not upon thy paths—thy fields
The armaments which thunder-strike the walls
Alike the Armada's pride, or spoils of Trafalgar.
Thy shores are empires changed in all save thee—
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty’s form
The image of Eternity—the throne
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
55 And I have loved thee, Ocean' and my joy
60 Made them a terror—'twas a pleasing fear;
And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.
HELPS TO STUDY Biographical and Historical: George Gordon Byron was born in London the year before the outbreak of the French Revolution. At the age of ten, upon the death of his grand-uncle he became Lord Byron. He traveled extensively through Europe, spending much time in Italy. At Pisa he formed a warm friendship for the poet Shelley. So deeply was he moved by his impulses toward liberty and freedom that in the summer of 1823 he left Genoa with a supply of arms, medicines, and money to aid the Greeks in their struggle for independence. In the following year he became commander-in-chief at Missolonghi, but he died of a fever before he had an opportunity to actually engage in battle. Hearing the news, the boy Tennyson, dreaming at Somersby on poetic greatness, crept away to weep and carve upon sandstone the words, “Byron is dead.” Notes and Questions
In the first stanza why ‘‘pathless Line 22—What word requires
woods” and “lonely shore”? In the second and third stanzas Byron contrasts the ocean and the earth in their relation to man. Line 12—What two words require emphasis? Line 13—With what is “watery plain'' contrasted? Line 14—With what is contrasted?
emphasis? In the fourth stanza what contrast does Byron make? What does the fifth stanza tell? The Sixth 2 Which stanza do you like best? Why? Which lines are the most beautiful?
• ‘The Invincible Armada’’—an immense Spanish fleet consisting of one hundred thirty vessels, sailed from Corunna in 1588 and attacked the English fleet but suffered defeat.
inspiration for a poem, “The Spanish Armada.”
“Trafalgar’’—one of Lord Nelson's great sea-fights, occurring off Cape Trafalgar on the coast of Spain in 1805. Here he defeated the com
bined fleets of France and Spain, but was himself killed.
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
This event furnished Southey the
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, 20 The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
HELPS TO STUDY
Historical: Sennacherib was King of Assyria. His army invaded Judea and besieged Jerusalem but was overthrown; 185,000 of his men were destroyed in a single night. Sennacherib returned in haste with the remnant to his own country. For the Bible story of this event read 2 Kings XIX. 6-36. Notes and Questions
Find Assyria and Galilee on your | 7. Their religion broken down. map. 8. Their power “melted like Note the development: Snow.’’ 1. Brilliant outset of the Assyrian | What two comparisons are found cavalry. in the first stanza 3 2. Their summer changes to win- | Note the movement and rhythm. ter. Point out the fitness of the two 3. The angel turns their sleep into similes in the second stanza. death. Find a comparison in the sixth 4. The steed and the rider. Stanza. 5. The mourning. “Ashur’’—Assyria. 6. Their idols powerless to help “Baal’’—the sun-god worshipped them. by the Assyrians.
Indicate the rhythm of the four lines of the second stanza by writing them in groups under curves as on page 47.
Words and Phrases for Discussion
** cohorts” “unsmote” ‘‘idols are broke’” ** sheen'' ‘‘purple and gold '' (broken) “host” “withered and strown” “rock-beating surf”