Adonais: Poem No. 22 - Summary & Analysis

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Stanza 22
Line 190-198
He will awake no more, oh never more!
'Wake thou,' cried Misery; 'childless Mother! Rise
Out of thy sleep, and slake in thy heart's core
A wound more fierce than his, with tears and sighs,'
And all the Dreams that watched Urania's eyes,
And all the Echoes whom their Sister's song
Had held in holy silence, cried ’Arise’;
Swift as a thought by the snake Memory stung,
From her ambrosial rest the fading Splendour sprung.


      Adonais would no more come back to life. Hence, the spirit of misery called upon Urania to come and weep over her great loss. She was stung by bitter memory; and, accompanied by her spiritual maids, started on her flight to the earth.)


      L. 190. He—i.e., Adonais. 'He' is in italics to emphasize the fact that matter may be renewed, but the soul of Adonais is gone forever. L. 191. Misery—personified figure of grief. It is Shelley's own grief personified. Here, he takes up the address to Urania began in Stanza 2 and resumed in Stanza 7. (come away). Childless Mother—Urania, who has lost her "youngest dearest one" (L. 46.)

      LI. 191-192. Rise...sleep—shake off your sleep-like trance. She was in a deep trance of joy to hear an Echo sing the poetry of Adonais in Paradise. L. 192. Slake...quench; here, seethe (by weeping and sighing). In....core—in the very depth of your heart. L. 193. Wound....his—pain of the loss of your child which is greater than the pain. Adonais himself felt at the wound given by the article of the Quarterly, which killed him.

      L. 194. All the Dreams....eyes—all the glowing, hovering fancies which entertained her closed eyes—these 'fancies’ were suggested by Keats's poetry which one of the Echoes was singing. L. 195. Echoes—spiritual females figures, attendants on Urania. Sister's song—songs of one of the Echoes. L. 196. Held....silence—kept in solemn, reverent calm; held in respectful rapture. L. 197. Swift as...stung—she rose as swiftly as a thought which flashes through the brain; because she was stung by the bitter realization of the death of Adonais as if she were stung by a poisonous serpent.

      L. 198.— from her peaceful slumber such as the gods of Greek mythology enjoyed after feeding on ambrosia, food of the gods. Cf. Tennyson's Lotos Eaters, "For they lie beside their nectar." Fading splendor—Urania, whose celestial splendor looked faded, obscured by a shadow of deep grief.

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