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‘Love’s Farewell’ and ‘The Chilterns’

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  • Category: Love

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The poems ‘Love’s Farewell’ and ‘The Chilterns’ are both about relationships, however the moods of the poems are quite different which I am going to look at in depth, also I will look at the similarities and differences of the two poems. ‘Love’s Farewell’ was written by Michael Drayton and is a pre-20th century poem, and ‘The Chilterns’ was written by Rupert Brooke and is a twentieth Century Poem.

In the first verse of ‘Love’s Farewell’ it is clear that the poet was in a relationship but it has come to an end, he seems quite adamant that, that us what he wants to happen, he wants the relationship to end. The first line reads ‘Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part’ which I think means there is nothing more they can both do to make the relationship work, so they should kiss and break up.

It then says ‘Nay I have done, you get no more of me’ I think showing he has given up, he has tried, but he is not going to try anymore. The next line is ‘And I am glad, yea, glad with all my heart’, he seems to be reinforcing his judgement on finishing the relationship, he says he is happy to be free of it. The last line of the verse says ‘That thus so cleanly I myself can free’ I believe he wants to start afresh with someone else.

In verse two the poet seems to want to finish it all, and erase the time in his life he has spent with her, he says ‘Shake hands fore ever, cancel all our vows’ this could possibly mean that they were married and he wants a divorce, however when this poem was written divorce was unheard of and very rare, therefore I think it is more likely they made informal vows to each other and I think he wants to cancel those.

The next three lines read:

‘And when we meet at any time again,

Be it not seen in either of our brows

That we one jot of former love retain’

Which I think means, when they see each other again in the future, he doesn’t want them to show that they once had a relationship and loved each other, he wants them to just act as if they were friends or even as if they did not know each other.

In the third verse he talks about love as if it were a person, and it is dieing, the verse is:

‘Now at the last gasp of love’s latest breath,

When, his pulse failing, passion speechless lies,

When faith is kneeling by his bed of death,

And innocence is closing up his eyes,’

I think that the first line means that their relationship has been unstable for quite a while and this is the latest, and the last time they have tried to save their relationship. I think that the next two lines are saying that their love is dieing, the passion they share is also dieing out, and the faith they have in each other in on its last legs, and they are about to lose that too. Also I believe the last line means the innocence they both once had ‘is closing up it eyes’ about to die out.

The last verse is two lines long, and called a couplet, the both lines rhyme, unlike the other three verses, which alternate lines end rhyming. The last verse:

‘- Now if thou would’st, when all have given him over,

From death to life thou might’st him yet recover’

I think showing that after the relationship between them is over and finished, it might be saved, and brought from death back to life, which I think shows that he doesn’t really want to end it, he is reluctant to completely let the relationship come to an end.

The second poem, ‘The Chilterns’ is also a poem about the poet’s love life. This poems is in eight, five line verses, with the rhyming pattern being ‘ABABB’ with the second, fourth and fifth lines rhyming and the first and third lines rhyming. In the first verse the poet says:

‘Your hands, my dear, adorable

Your lips of tenderness

– Oh, I’ve loved you faithfully and well

Three years, or a bit less,

It wasn’t a success’

I think in the first two lines he is complementing her, saying he likes her hands and lips, in the next three lines he says how he has been faithful to her for the past three or so years and loved her, but regardless of this the relationship still ended.

The second verse seems to be the poet acting relieved that it is over and he is going to start travelling, ‘Thank God, that’s done! And I’ll take the road,’. The next line reads ‘Quit of my youth and you’ which I think shows he is definitely leaving her, and his youth, which he has spent with her behind. The last three lines of the verse are:

‘The Roman road to Wendover

By Tring and Lilley Hoo,

As a free man may do.’

I think these three lines mean that he is moving away now he has his freedom back, and he is able to do what he pleases. In this verse he seems to be thinking of the advantages of the break up and the new the fact he will be able seek new activities, such as taking to the road.

Verse three seems to be again a negative verse, the poet shows not a glimpse of chance that the relationship might resume at a later date. The verse reads:

‘For youth goes over, the joys that fly

The tears that follow fast;

And the dirtiest things we do must lie

Forgotten at the last;

Even Love goes past’

Which I think means his youth is gone and the good times he enjoyed went quickly and were soon followed by sadness and tears. It seems that the third line means that all the unpleasantness they both endured during the relationship must be forgotten, and the last two lines seem to mean that it is all forgotten at last, and even love, the one thing that should never fade, does fade and end.

I think the first two lines of verse four is the poet saying he does not think he will find the same emotions he showed towards her again, both the good and the bad emotions, and possibly not love anyone like he did her again, ‘What’s left behind I shall not find,’ ‘The splendour and the pain;’. The next three lines say the same as the first two, but I think he is describing the things he will not get from any other girl, he will not get the good times, the arguments or the pain and bravery from any other girl, and he seems to think he will never experience these again.

In verse five I think that the poet is saying that he has spent the best years of his life with her, no one will be able to take what they had away, and at the same time ever be able to mend their love so it carries on, and not spoil it.

I feel in verse six the poet is saying he wants, and will find happiness again, which is what he desires. He goes onto almost remind himself of the things that cheer him up, such as ‘The autumn road, the mellow wind’, which I think will help him escape from thinking about the relationship.

Verse seven is what I believe is the poet saying everything will be the same around him, he goes on to name such things as dead leaves in the lane, but they will all be the same

Finally I believe the final verse to be the poet saying he will find a new love of his life, one that is better than her, but maybe older, however I think it is clear that he will settle for her, where he says ‘And I daresay she will do.’

These two poems are both about relationships and them coming to an end, and are written in verses, they both rhyme, however ‘Love’s Farewell’ is a pre-20th century poem, and ‘The Chilterns’ is a twentieth Century Poem. Therefore written in two difference writing styles, with ‘The Chilterns’ being slightly more modern in it’s point of views.

In ‘Love’s Farewell’ the poet seems reluctant to end the relationship, and I think if presented with the opportunity to start afresh or for them to get back into a relationship he would jump at the chance, as throughout the poem he seems to be trying to reassure himself as to what he is doing and that it is the right thing to do. I think the poet is unhappy and is in an unsure mood.

In the ‘The Chilterns’ the poet seems more sure of himself and his ability to make a decision and it be the right one, I do not think he shows any sorrow for what has happened or a willingness for them to get back together at all, he has accepted the fact that the love they once shared is long gone. The poet seems to be quietly confident with the end result and shows no regret.

Therefore, from the study of these two poems I think I have gained the knowledge and understanding of how a depressing, not exactly cheerful poem is constructed, and I feel I have improved my analytical skills a great deal. To conclude, the I feel that loves farewell the better poem of the pair, with its language being slightly easier to understand, but I can appreciate what the poet is going through, with him not being able to decide which choice he wants to make in his life, and I especially liked the twist in the couplet at the end, where through out the poem he is persuading himself and reassuring himself that he made the right choice, he then goes back on every thing he said and reveals to us that if given the opportunity their love might still yet live on.

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