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Crossing the Bar

Crossing the Bar

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark; (11-12)

Death isn't death, or rather death isn't what we think it is; it can be as casual or as simple as embarking, as getting in a boat and taking off for a different, even better place. At least, that's how the speaker sees it. But do you buy his version of events?

Quote #5

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far, (13-14)

Death seems to represent a release from all the limits (the "bourne") of mortal life. Instead of being a bad thing, death is actually a departure from all the constraints and annoyances of life on earth. Life on earth, in fact, might be more like death than death. So look on the bright side, Shmoopers.

Quote #6

I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar. (15-16)

The speaker says he hopes to see his "Pilot" (probably God) after he crosses the bar. The fact that he "hopes" implies that he's not entirely sure he will meet God after he dies. Uncertainty abounds. But hey, that's kind of the point.

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