The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 15 - Summary

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      These lines describe the condition of the passengers. The hope of surviving in this disaster became gradually bleak with the passing of time. Twelve hours have passed. All were lost in the fathomless sea of grief and despair. Tears were streaming out their eyes. Their condition was no better than of those whose kith and kin had perished. Time seemed to be dreadful. A cruel day was followed by an appalling and tragic night. The hope of being rescued was dwindling. The merciless fury of the snow storm had swept them overboard, so many of them had to resort to rigging and their safety depended on their power of holding the ropes. But the mighty waves with its violent winds was shaking them.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-4: Hope had grown.....twelve hours gone: With the passing of every minute, the hope of serving the disaster gradually eludes the passengers. Twelve hours have passed and everybody is in tears now. No difference lies between those who are mourning the death of their kith and kin and those who have been lucky.

Lines 5-6: And frightful.....lightship, shone: There was no respite for the passengers. The dreadful day was followed by a dreadful night too.

Lines 7-8: And lives at last.....horrible airs: Human life here doesn’t have any significance now. All are in peril and easily perish. The waves have thrown and swept them overboard. But many still clung to the ropes assiduously with a flickering hope. They are safe as long as they hold the ropes. The tempestuous minds and the mighty waves gave them much shaking.

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