Adonais: Poem No. 41 - Summary & Analysis

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Stanza 41
Line 361-369
He lives, he wakes—’tis Death is dead, not he;
Mourn not for Adonais—Thou young Dawn,
Turn all thy dew to splendour; for from thee
The spirit thou lamentest is not gone!
Ye caverns and ye forests, cease to moan!
Cease ye faint flowers and fountains! and thou Air,
Which like a mourning-veil thy scarf hadst thrown
O'er the abandoned Earth, now leave it bare
Even to the joyous stars which smile on its despair!


      Because Adonais is not dead, let Nature give up her mourning. The spirit of Adonais is not gone from us; caverns, forests and the air should no more mourn for him because his spirit is among them.


      L. 361. He lives, he wakes—Adonais has waked "from the dream-of life" (L. 344) and lives in Eternity, which is a truer and fuller life. 'Tis Death...dead—the death of common conception which means to unthinking men the end of existence is not true of the spirit of Adonais. He having reached Eternal life through death, Death has forgone his nature in his case. Death cannot touch him and so is dead with regard to him.

      L. 362. Young Dawn—fresh morning who was lamenting for Adonais. L. 363. Turn... splendor—turn the tear-like dew which you were shedding into splendid pearls of beauty L. 364. The spirit...gone—the soul of Adonais being now part of Nature is in the heart of Dawn,—a beautiful phenomenon of nature. L. 366. Faint—withered (in grief;). Air—atmosphere personified as a pervading spirit of nature. L. 367. Which like....thrown—which has cast your neckcloth (scarf) like a veil of mourning; i.e., which has spread its mist as a visible symbol of its sorrow.

      L. 368. O'—the veil of mist (sorrow) has been cast so as to cover the earth which is now desolate because of Nature's mourning, as described. Now.....bare—now take off your mourning veil; i.e, leave the atmosphere clear.

      L. 369. Even to....despair—leave the whole atmosphere clear between the joyful, sparkling star and the surface of the earth; the stars are now smiling at the causeless grief of the earth because they have the soul of Adonais among them and know that he is not dead but much more alive than before.

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