The College Colonel By Herman Melville p.129

“He rides at their head;

A crutch by his saddle just slants in view,

One slung arm is in splints, you see,

Yet he guides his strong steed- how coldly too.”

This excerpt from the poem The college colonel is very interesting to me.  The first line is stating how the young man is leading his soilders back home.  The second and third line are stating how the young man is badly hurt.  He has lost one of his legs and one of his arms has been badly wounded.  The last line is stating how after everything he has been through he is still leading his men with pride and is still ready to continue in the fight if needed.  The section of the poem that states “how coldly too” seems to be saying that what he has been through has changed him and he is still a good strong leader.  I find it really interesting how even after the young man has lost his leg and has a badly wounded arm he still has it in him to continue leading his troops if needed to.

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Thomas Campbell Ye Mariners of England p.69

“The Spirits of your fathers

Shall start from every wave –

For the deck it was their field of fame,

And Ocean was their grave”

I found this excerpt from the poem Ye Mariners of England  by Thomas Campbell to be very interesting.  Campbell does an exceptional job at helping you depict a picture of what is going on.  The first and second line are talking about how the Spirits of past sailors are greeting their fellow sailors.  The third line is stating that the deck of their ship is what they are best known for since that is where they conduct their battles.  The men on deck during battle would fire cannons at other ships and would have sword fights with others sailors. The last line is saying that the ocean is the grave of the sailors that do not make it in battle.  I find it interesting that Campbell calls the ocean their grave even though they didn’t go through a proper burial.

Thomas Campbell Hohenlinden p.70

“Few, few shall part, where many meet!

The snow shall be their winding sheet,

And turf, beneath their feet,

Shall be a soldier’s sepulchre.”

This excerpt from the poem Hoehenlinden is about a brutal battle.  The first line is saying that very few people will make it through this battle.  The second line is saying that the snow will be their burial wrappings.  The third and fourth lines are talking about how the turf their are battling on is going to be where they are buried.  Sepulchre means a burial vault, tomb, or grave.  So when it says “shall be a soldier’s sepulchre it means their grave.  I really like how the author of the poem manages to make the meaning so vivid and clear and at the same   time keeping a serious tone about the entire situation.

The Lament of Maev Leith-Dherg p.33

“Cold at last he lies

Neath the burial-stone;

All the blood he shed

Could not save his own.”

The poem The Lament of Maev Leith-Dherg talks about how MacMoghcorb was slain.  The first line is explaining how they have finally killed King MacMoghcorb.  The second line of the excerpt details how he was already laid below his grave and head stone.  The third and fourth lines are explaining how even after king Macmoghcorb killed the many foes that he did he still could not save his own life.  I find it interesting how he was able to keep himself safe this entire time but in the end after all of his foes he had killed he still ended up dying himself.

John Donne A Burnt Ship p.49

“Out of a fired ship, which by no way

But Drowning, could be rescued from the flame,

Some men leaped forth, and ever as they came

Near the foe’s ships, did by their shot decay;

So all were lost, which in the ship were found,

They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned.”

This poem although very short does a very good job of getting its point across.  This poem is extremely vivid in its description of what happened in the battle.  The poem describes how a ship was badly damaged during a battle and many of it crew were either burned or trapped inside and drowned.  The section of the poem that says “near the foe’s ships, did by their shot decay” describes how the men were jumping towards their foes ship hoping to be saved which was badly damaged by their own weapons.  I found it ironic how the last sentence says “they in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned”.  I found this to be ironic due to the fact that the people who were in the water were being burned when in fact the water should be putting the fire out, and the people in the ship which was on fire drowned when they should have been the ones burning.

The Odes p. 13

“The glorious and the decent way of dying

is for one’s country.  Run, and death will seize

You no less surely.  The young coward, flying,

Gets his quietus in the back and knees.”

This exert from the poem  The Odes has a very strong message of fighting for one’s country and not fleeing during battle.  The poem is stating that the honorable way to die is for one’s country.  If you are fighting in war and run from battle you will be considered a coward.  The part of the poem that states “The young coward, flying, gets his quietus in the back and knees”  is saying that if you are flying which refers to running away you will get your quietus which means you will be killed.  Even in today’s society if you run during any war of fight you will be considered a coward and mocked by your country’s people.