Break, Break, Break
Break Break Break describes feelings of loss. The poem has a strong biographical connection with Alfred Lord Tennyson's life. The poem contains his feelings of melancholy along with his feelings of nostalgia. The poet wrote Break, Break, Break during early 1835, and published in, 1842. This is an elegy that describes the poet’s feelings of loss after his friend, Arthur Hallam died. The poem is extremely simple in form and color.
Tennyson’s loss is both personal and profound. There is a cyclone of pain rising in the heart of the poet, a storm similar to that of the sea. WhereasThe angler’s boy and the sailor lads are merry. Nevertheless, the poet stands grief-stricken, as the memories of the past gather in his mind.
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
In the first stanza, the poet says that the torment of his heart as the death of his friend is tremendous. There is a struggle like the struggle of the sea waves on the stormy shores. The question before him is how he can express adequately the thoughts, which occur in his mind.
O, well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
In the second stanza, the poet says that others' lives are full of joy as for the angler’s son and daughter who are laughing and shouting merrily. The poet, on the other hand, is entirely in a melancholic mood. He is restless and grief-stricken at the death of his friend. The poet admires the innocent joy of these youngsters but he is sorry because he cannot share it. The lad of the sailor is also happy and sings in his boat face to face with the magnificence of the sea. However, such joy the poet cannot enjoy.
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
In the third stanza, the poet says that the majestic ships are reaching their destinations under the hill. The poet however has no definite plan for his life and he misses his friend Hallam whose voice and touch was so soft and tender. The grief of the poet is terribly intense. The poet mingled the beauty of sound and the beauty of sense. They are nothing but grief personified and they make grief eternal.
Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.
In the last stanza, the poet asks the waves to strike against the seashore and thus repeat this joyful experience, but the poet cannot recall the experience, which he enjoyed earlier in the company of his friend. God had been very kind in blessing him with the tender friendship of Hallam.