Background• George Gordon Byron was born in 1788• He was described by an ex-lover as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’, he gained the reputation as a bad boy due to his excessive drinking, gambling, affairs and illegitimate children.• ‘Roving’ means partying or having a good time.
Background• The poem was written with a letter sent to his friend Thomas Moore, when he felt they were getting too old to live such a wild life. “The Carnival – that is, the latter part of it – and sitting up late o’nights, had knocked me up a little…I find the “sword wearing out the scabbard”, though I have but just turned the corner of twenty-nine.”
Influences• The poem seems to be based on an earlier poem called ‘Maid of Amsterdam’ Ill go no more a-roving With you, fair maid, A- roving, a-roving, Since rovings been my ruin, Ill go no more a-roving With you, fair maid!
Subject & Tone• The poem is about Byron’s decision to calm his wild ways.• How would you describe the tone of the poem?• Does he seem sincere? Explain your views.
Imagery• What does he mean by the metaphor ‘sword’ and ‘sheath’?• How does he show in the second stanza that he is feeling tired?• What do you make of his assertion that ‘…the heart must pause to breathe, and love itself have rest.’?
Imagery• The wording of stanzas 1 and 3 is very similar, yet the meanings are different.• Comment on the way Byron uses the words: night moon loving
Form• Look first at the pattern of the verse, and at the rhythm and rhyme of the verse, and note down your observations.• Compare the first and last stanzas and find parallels between them.• Consider whether there is anything in the sounds of the words which seem to suggest a slower pace in Stanza 2?
Feeling• Which of these words best describes the tone of the poem: carefree regretful self-critical resignedWrite a paragraph, using PEEL to explain your views.
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