© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by John Milton

Lycidas Death Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #4

But O! the heavy change now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone and never must return! (37-38)

Just like in lines 8-9, it's as if the speaker has to keep repeating the fact that Lycidas is dead in order to face the facts. Or maybe he thinks that if he just says it over and over again, it might hurt a little less each time.

Quote #5

Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves,
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes mourn.
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays (39-44)

The natural world mourns for Lycidas in a way that makes it seem dead as well. Did you notice how line 43 ends with the phase "no more be seen"? For a second (before we get to the next line), it appears that the plants have disappeared entirely as a result of Lycidas' death. Even though it turns out they're still there, they seem strangely lifeless, with no reason to move their "leaves." Poor plants.

Quote #6

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas? (50-1)

Oh those negligent nymphs. What nincompoops. In all seriousness though, it seems our speaker is convinced that these mythological figures could have and should have helped out his poor buddy. Our speaker is somewhat unwilling to accept the fact that nothing could be done, which we can tell by the fact that he proceeds to ask all kinds of gods, nymphs, etc. where they were when their supposedly beloved Lycidas fell victim to the powerful and "remorseless" ocean. Eventually, though, he'll realize that even these ancient figures are powerless against fate.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...