We know that "The Eagle" was inspired by Tennyson's travels through the picturesque Pyrenees mountains near the border of France and Spain. But the mountains he describes are not land-locked. The eagle is perched on a rock overlooking the blue ocean. The poem uses words that put the mountains out of human reach, words like "crag" and "walls." The entire mountain seems to belong to the solitary eagle.
- Line 1: The poem opens with an image of the eagle perched on a "crag," a piece of rock that juts out from a cliff or a rock. The word "crag" fits into a pattern of alliteration: repeated hard "c" sounds.
- Line 5: Tennyson describes the "mountain walls" as if they were the eagle's property. They are so inaccessible that nothing else could ever reach the walls to claim them.