The narrator is addressing a woman who he’s trying to persuade in order to start a relationship. He gives examples to show everything in nature is connected to a partner. He believes it is God’s law and it should be obeyed. He asks the woman why she is rejecting God’s law by refusing to love him. He questions what the point in Nature’s bonds is if he can’t be with her.

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Ideas and Themes:

  • Nature
  • Longing

Structure:

  • Lightly structured to be persuasive. Uses the majority of each stanza to build up evidence about bonds.
  • There is a short line at the end of each stanza to ask a rhetorical question. This stands out and emphasizes contrast between nature and his current situation.

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  • The poem is apparently short and simple. The nature believes what he says is the truth.
  • Simple/ Regular ABAB rhyme scheme but 2 lines in each stanza don’t rhyme. This reflects how nature is in harmony, but his needs aren’t.
READ:
Kant's Categorical Imperative: Summary & Analysis

Language:

  • “Fountains mingle with the river”: flowing water shows everything should connect. Personification “mingle” draws parallels between what happens in nature and what he desires to happen with his lover.
  • “River, ever…..Heaven, forgiven”: Half rhymes which shows the couple aren’t fully united unlike nature.
  • “Rivers with the ocean”. Ocean is a step up from river which shows that loving someone makes you part of something bigger than yourself.
  • “Heaven mix for ever, with a sweet emotion”: Personification suggest nature enjoys and benefits from their bond.
  • “Law divine” Narrator thinks it’s God’s law to be together.
  • “Another’s being mingle”: Repetition of mingle emphasizes earlier view.
  • “Kiss…Clamp”: Physical language shows frustration he can’t do it with his lover.
  • “No sister flower would be forgiven”: Shows his partner is going against God’s will and is unforgivable.
  • “Sunlight clasps the Earth, Moonbeams kiss the sea- what is all this sweet work worth is thou not kiss me?” He questions the point in Nature’s bonds if he cannot experience a bond himself. The last verse only has 5 syllables and sticks out like narrator is separated from his lover.

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