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Symbol Analysis

English poet Alexander Pope said, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." Our speaker might not quite agree precisely with Pope, but he is still a fairly hopeful person. Hope is found in the passage of time, (i.e., the sun continuing to rise in the east every morning), and in the belief of a divine force with which we can interact positively.

  • Line 4: The rhetorical question the speaker poses in the second part of the line is another way of asking, why can’t suffering people see the hope that’s right in front of them?
  • Line 9: Now we’re talking some serious hope, or some refreshment anyway. The sound of these abstract ideas, "dearest" and "freshness" combine with more concrete phrases, such as deep and down, to create some beautiful imagery. We can smell the freshness, feel the cool of underground springs. We see little seeds bursting underground before our eyes.
  • Line 10: Since the sun sets in the west, the west is closely associated with sunset. We can say the word west, and in the right context, people will know we mean sunset. That’s metonymy.
  • Line 11: "Morning" is personified in this line. It jumps and runs through the sky. Morning is also a metaphor for hope and clarity of mind. Morning sheds light.

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