The Wreck of the Deutschland: Stanza 4 - Summary

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      Here is a comparison between the poet and with the sand in an hourglass. The hourglass is a device for measuring time and it takes one hour for the sand to run out. While at the middle the level of the sand falls more quickly and the poet here emphasizes the idea of the sand. But the poet can rest like water as it remains steady in a well. There is stage of equilibrium. As the tall mountainous streams roll down and feed the well so also the poet is constantly fed by the gospel containing the gems of truth. It means that Hopkins derives his inspiration from God. The divine inspirations constantly keep supporting him.

Line by Line Analysis

Lines 1-3: I am soft....a drift: The poet here compares himself with sand in an hourglass which is a device for measuring time. The sand does not remain firm but can easily shift, so also the poet is inwardly insecure. As in a hourglass the sand remains high at the edges but the sand drains fast in the middles.

Lines 4-5: And it crowds and it combs to the fall / I steady as a water in a well, to a poise, to a pane: The poet here only emphasizes the swiftness of sand. In the next line, he says that he has achieved a stage of balance like water in well. ‘Pane’ means a device used in irrigation for holding the water at a steady level.

Lines 6-8: But roped with Chrit’s gift: Supported by rippling streams tumbling down from the mountains, the water remain steady so also the poet who is incessantly supported by some gems of truth or by the wealth of the gospel. Christ has gifted him this opportunity. ‘Voel, refers to mountains in Welsh.

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