Nothing or All things will die

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NOTHING WILL DIE
5.
10.
15.
20.
When will the stream be aweary of flowing
A
Under my eye?
B
When will the wind be aweary of blowing
A
Over the sky?
B
When will the clouds be aweary of fleeting?
C
When will the heart be aweary of beating?
C
And nature die?
B
Never, oh! never, nothing will die;
B
The stream flows,
D
The wind blows,
D
The cloud fleets,
E
The heart beats,
E
Nothing will die.
B
Nothing will die;
B
All things will change
F
Thro' eternity.
G
'Tis the world's winter;
H
Autumn and summer
I
Are gone long ago;
J
Earth is dry to the centre,
H
But spring, a new comer,
I
A spring rich and strange,
F
Shall make the winds blow
J
Round and round,
K
1
25.
30.
35.
Thro' and thro',
L
Here and there,
M
Till the air
M
And the ground
K
Shall be fill'd with life anew.
L
The world was never made;
N
It will change, but it will not fade.
N
So let the wind range;
F
For even and morn
O
Ever will be
G (Slant Rhyme)
Thro' eternity.
G
Nothing was born;
O
Nothing will die;
B
All things will change.
F
2
ALL THINGS WILL DIE
5.
Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
A
Under my eye;
B
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing
A
Over the sky.
B
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;
C
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
C
Full merrily;
10.
15.
Yet all things must die.
B
The stream will cease to flow;
E
The wind will cease to blow;
E
The clouds will cease to fleet;
F
The heart will cease to beat;
F
For all things must die.
B
All things must die.
B
Spring will come never more.
G
Oh! vanity!
D (Slant Rhyme)
Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking
The wine and the merrymaking.
20.
We are call'd -- we must go.
Laid low, very low,
In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still;
The voice of the bird
25.
D
Shall no more be heard,
G
H
H
E
E
B
I
J
J
3
30.
35.
40.
45.
Nor the wind on the hill.
I
Oh! misery!
D (Slant Rhyme)
Hark! death is calling
K
While I speak to ye,
D (Slant Rhyme)
The jaw is falling,
K
The red cheek paling,
L
The strong limbs failing;
L
Ice with the warm blood mixing;
M
The eyeballs fixing.
M
Nine times goes the passing bell:
N
Ye merry souls, farewell.
N
The old earth
O
Had a birth,
O
As all men know,
E
Long ago.
E
And the old earth must die.
B
So let the warm winds range,
P
And the blue wave beat the shore;
Q
For even and morn
R
Ye will never see
D (Slant Rhyme)
Thro' eternity.
D (Slant Rhyme)
All things were born.
R
Ye will come never more,
Q
For all things must die.
B
4
NO/ALL THINGS WILL DIE
G ENERAL
NOTHING WILL DIE and ALL THINGS WILL DIE are poems made by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem was
written in 1893 in his book T HE W ORKS O F A LFRED L ORD T ENNYSON .
P LACE IN TIME
In what period is this poem written? We already know Lord Tennyson is from the Victorian age, so
we might be able to connect it to the Victorian age. As you might’ve noticed these poems talk a lot
about dying. Strangely Lord Tennyson never talks about god in these poems. In the Victorian age God
was sort of ignored in literature. So this explains the place in time.
R HYME
These two poems have end rhyme, which is mostly masculine. This means that the poems rhyme on
the end and these rhymes often use small words. The rhyme scheme seems messy and chaotic, but
every word rhymes with another word somewhere along the line. Range in line 42 of ALL THINGS WILL
DIE
is the only exception. Both poems use slant rhyme with just one group of words, not coincidentally
the words from the first poem are also slant rhyme with the slant rhyme of the second poem.
M ETRIC FOOT
The feet in these poems are very irregular and does not follow a pattern. Lord Tennyson uses also
different forms of meters:

Monometer:
V
/
/
The wind blows
NOTHING WILL DIE Line 10
This is a Bacchius.

Dimeter:
/
V
V
/
Nothing will die
NOTHING WILL DIE Line 13, 14 & 37
This is an iamb after a trochee.

Trimeter:
V
/
V
/
V
/
The clouds will cease to fleet
ALL THING WILL DIE Line 11
These are three iambs after each other.

Tetrameter:
/
V
/
V / V / V
5
See! our friends are all forsaking
ALL THINGS WILL DIE Line 18
These are four Trochees after each other.

Pentameter:
/ V
/
V
V
/ V
V / V
V
/ V
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating
ALL THINGS WILL DIE Line 6
This is a trochee followed by three dactyls followed by a trochee.
M EANING
Lord Tennyson has trouble facing the inevitability of death. In NOTHING WILL DIE Lord Tennyson is
denying death, saying he will live forever. In ALL THINGS WILL DIE he faces reality and accepts that he
will one day die.
NOTHING WILL DIE
Lord Tennyson tries to explain why he will not die. He explains this change with the seasons. After a
winter (which came after Autumn and summer), spring returns and makes life come back.
ALL THINGS WILL DIE
After facing hard reality, Lord Tennyson tell us spring will come never more. This might be referring
to childhood. The happy times of back then are over and will never return. Death waits at the door
means death is waiting for all of us. All his friends are regretting doing things that let them get closer
to death (such as wine). By lying low and in the dark Lord Tennyson means being buried. Then you
shall hear no more sounds. Lord Tennyson then gives examples how one dies while being alive.
Clinging the bell nine times is a ritual done at funerals. Last but not least Lord Tennyson gives a
conclusion that even the earth must die one day.
S IMILARITIES
Even though All things will die doesn’t have paragraph, the text seems to indicate that this part of the
poem ends at ‘For all things must die.’. This line is at line 13. At line 13 NOTHING WILL DIE’s first
paragraph ends.
The stream flows,
The wind blows,
The cloud fleets,
The heart beats,
In the first paragraph of both poems Lord Tennyson repeats these four phenomenon’s.
When will the stream be aweary of flowing
The stream flows,
6
In the first paragraph of NOTHING WILL DIE Lord Tennyson answers his questions.
Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
The stream will cease to flow
In All things will die Lord Tennyson jokes about his ignorance in the first poem and accepts how
things are.
P ERSONAL O PINION
In my opinion these are the best English poems I’ve read so far, maybe after THE RAVEN by Edgar
Allen Poe. I love how Lord Tennyson describes his struggle with death. Something I’ve noticed in the
poem is that is sort of follows the five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression,
Acceptance) 100 years before that was discovered. It talks about denial and acceptance, and maybe a
little bit of depression. Next to that I also think Lord Tennyson uses a lot of metaphors, yet you still
know what the poems are about. Writing that is something divine in my opinion.
7
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