The Darkling Thrush
How we cite our quotes:
And every spirit upon the earth
Seemed fervourless as I. (15-16)
OK, we're cheating here. This is exactly the opposite of perseverance. In fact, it's pretty much rolling over and playing dead. Don't get us wrong, that's a great trick…for a dog. Which is where humankind seems to be on the species chain in this poem. C'mon, people – get up off the mat!
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom. (21-24)
Can you come up with any more adjectives to explain how this bird has no good reason to be singing such a lovely song? Let's face it: life is rough. Note how Hardy switches from elaborate metaphors to lists of adjectives in this passage. He's hammering the point home: this bird's got nothing going for it but pure faith.
So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things (25-27)
This, folks, is the definition of perseverance. It's believing in Santa Claus when everyone in your third-grade class tells you that he's just the guy in the mall with a fake beard. It's knowing that you can make the A team in basketball, even though your coach seems to think that you're a permanent bencher. You've got to believe, friends. Heck, if a bird can do it….