Tuesday, 23 October 2018

“So we’ll go no more a roving” melancholic Byron

“So we’ll go no more a roving” is a poem composed by Lord Byron in 1817. The poem is formed by three quatrains, with continual rhymes which follow the pattern ABAB. At the age of twenty-nine he wrote a letter to his friend Moore in which he included the poem. He wrote: “Though I did not dissipate overmuch… yet I find the sword wearing out the scabbard, though I have but just turned the corner of 29.”

The first stanza is characterised by the word “SO”, which begins the whole poem. The choice of this word is particularly effective as it seems more to introduce a conclusive statement, and not a beginning. This emphasises the fact that he has accepted the end of his young age, and that he is ready to start a new, and more tranquil life. On the other hand, the last two lines of this stanza are contradictory. “The heart be still as loving” and the use of the word “moon”, both express the meaning that party spirit is still bright in his body, and although his heart is still young and wants to party, his body cannot yet sustain it.
In the second stanza he writes the love he had for parties and having fun. The first and the second line are particularly striking as they use a very strong image to describe the actual conditions of his body: “sword outwears its sheath” and “soul wears out his breast”. The image created by the sword entering his body is intended to emphasise the fact that him, and his soul, want to party, but the body do not permit it anymore. In addition to this image, a much more calm one is added in the last two lines: “heart must pause” and “love itself have a rest”. What he is saying is that his heart has to rest and his conclusion is to listen to it.

The first stanza, which represents the real conclusion of the poet, stands out for its melancholy and sadness. The poet is resigned and reluctant towards the idea of stopping with the parties. The words “Yet” and “no more”, are well-chosen as it emphasises the poet’s melancholy. The phrase “go no more a-roving” also makes clear the fact that there will be no more parties and fun. A clear connection can also be noticed between the last line of both stanzas one and three, as they both take the moon as subject.

Lord Byron achieved in creating a striking tone of melancholy and sadness, through his detailed choice of words and phrases which emphasise meanings and ideas, about his life without parties.


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