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Quotes

Quote #1

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, (lines 7-8)

Most of the things in this poem are transient, passing easily way, including lives. Each generation rises up like a wave and then, the speaker implies, they crash on the shore and are gone. Not only do their deeds pass away, but also some of the deeds don't even have a chance to happen in the first place!

Quote #2

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, (lines 10-11)

That's the world for you – life flies by, and as quickly as we can get excited about something, it's gone.

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