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A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth)

His golden locks Time hath to silver turn'd;
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd,
But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
And, lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song,--
'Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.'
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.

George Peele (1558?-1597)

hi this is a poem i have to read and analyze it but i have no idea what it's saying.
this is how i broke it down. can you please explain it to if my explaination seems wrong?

Title: i think the title is about man saying good bye to a war or weapon because that's what an arm means in this one to be with the person he loves which is the queen.

Figurative language: it's from the old days, the language style is antique.

tone: sad, angry, regret, upset

i don't know when the tones shifts in the poem. i can't tell

theme:

A Farewell to Arms (To Queen Elizabeth)
His golden locks Time hath to silver turn'd;
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurn'd,
But spurn'd in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Humans cannot outrun time; they always grow old.
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
Only the ideals of "duty, faith, love" are never-changing.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
And, lovers' sonnets turn'd to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
He grew old and life changed for him.
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
But his spirit and pure heart are still the same even though his body ages.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song,--
When he's very old, he'll teach the young men this song.
'Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
May those who wish my queen well be blessed.
Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.'
May those who wish her ill be cursed.
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.
My queen [Elizabeth I], now that I'm old and cannot be a knight for you anymore, let me pray for you.
" target="_blank">http://www.answers.com/beadsman


George Peele (1558?-1597)

hi this is a poem i have to read and analyze it but i have no idea what it's saying.
this is how i broke it down. can you please explain it to if my explaination seems wrong?

Title: i think the title is about man saying good bye to a war or weapon because that's what an arm means in this one to be with the person he loves which is the queen.
Yes, he loves his queen, but this is more about how he must leave his "arms" (armor, weapons, etc.) behind when he gets old. He cannot serve her directly in battle anymore, but he loves her anyway as his queen. (She is not his lover.)

Figurative language: it's from the old days, the language style is antique.
http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/terms/
At this website, look up these terms: simile, metaphor, iambic pentameter

tone: sad, angry, regret, upset
There is no anger or regret here, unless you want to refer to the brief line where he curses anyone who wishes his queen harm. Sadness, yes.

Tone shifts are when it seems to go from sadness to another feeling. Remember that tone is always a reflection of the emotion involved at any one point. Does the man love his queen as his monarch? Are there places in here where he seems happy?


i don't know when the tones shifts in the poem. i can't tell

theme: Think about faithfulness, strength, youth, passage of time, etc.
http://www.poemhunter.com/p/m/poem.asp?poet=6934&poem=37205
See the links at the bottom.

=)

Reading and understanding a poem is not an easy thing to do, but if you have a system, it'll be a bit easier than just taking a broad stab at its meaning!

There are some excellent pointers here:
http://www.uncp.edu/home/canada/work/markport/best/study/poetry.htm
(Ignore the "explicating" part unless your teacher has specifically told you to write a paper of explication about the poem.)
Read and understand the poem one line at a time; rarely should you go on to the next line until you understand the one you're on.
ALWAYS look up words you don't understand. http://www.answers.com <~~excellent online dictionary and more

More good ideas here:
http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ReadingPoetry.html#top

=)

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