Adonais: Poem No. 10 - Summary & Analysis

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Stanza 10
Line 82-90
And one with trembling hands clasps his cold head,
And fans him with her moonlight wings, and cries;
'Our love, our hope, our sorrow, is not dead!
See, on the silken fringe of his faint eyes,
Like dew upon a sleeping flower, there lies
A tear some Dream has loosened from his brain.'
Lost Angel of a ruined Paradise!
She knew not 'twas her own; as with no stain
She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.


      One of these Dreams clasped the cold head of Adonais, fanned him with her wings and thought him living. A tear-drop from her own eyes falling upon, Adonais' eye was mistaken by her as coming out of happy thoughts of his living brain.


      L. 82. One— one of the Dreams. Shelley conceives these Dreams as beautiful, bright but shadowy angelic figures. Clasps—embraces. Cold—dead. L. 83. Fans...wings—gently fans him with her silvery; shadowy wings, thinking him to have only fainted and not died. L. 84. Our sorrow—i.e., Adonais, the source of our sorrow—whom we are lamenting. Is not dead—why she thinks that Adonais is not dead is explained in the next three lines. L. 85.—Silken fringe—bright, soft eyelashes. Faint—lustreless. L. 86. There lies a tear—a teardrop is visible; hence he is yet thinking and is alive. A tear some...brain—the tear has come into his eye because of some extremely happy thought aroused in his brain by some beautiful poetic fancy Cf.

"And tears she sheds
Large tears that leave the lashes bright."—Christabel

     So Adonais is not dead. L. 88. Lost Angel...Paradise—refers to the Dream; Shelley pitifully refers to her as an angel who has lost her happy abode in the Paradise-like heart of Adonais. L. 89. She knew...own—Shelley explains the mistake of the Dream. It was her own tear-drop gently unconsciously fallen from her own eyes on the eye-lash of the dead Adonais. As with...faded—as the Dream (sorrowing over Adonais and weeping) vanishes leaving no sign (stain) of her existence. She dies since Adonais who conceived her is dead. L. 90. Like a cloud....rain—she disappeared as completely as mysteriously; as a piece of cloud which has poured itself down in rain. The aptitude and beauty of the simile are unparalleled.

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