Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #1

Though foolishly he lost the same (2)

Poor Adam was so dumb that he bungled away every good thing going for him: all the "wealth" and "store" created just for him. The verb "lost"—pretty mild considering the scope of what happened—makes Adam seem like a child, some poor second-grader who lost his sandwich on the way to school.

Quote #2

Decaying more and more,
Till he became
Most poor (3-5)

Herbert makes Adam sound like a corpse, "decaying" slowly in sin and pain and poverty, until everything is gone. The repetition of "more" is like a verbal nudge in the ribs: Herbert wants us to know that this guy's lost it all.

Quote #3

My tender age in sorrow did begin (11)

"Tender" here doesn't mean lovey-dovey; it means young and fragile. And that young fragility isn't helped any by confronting a world of sorrow. The speaker underscores his vulnerability.

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