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Analysis

The Night

Symbol Analysis

Let's see… we have "late into the night," "the night was made for loving," and two occurrences of the word "moon." Yep, this is definitely a dark poem, in a couple of different ways. It literally talks a lot about nighttime, the time of the day that is ideal for roving, the time when loving goes down. But the poem is nighttime-ish in another sense as well. All that business about the sword outwearing its sheath tells us that the speaker is now thinking about the nighttime of his life, his twilight years, so to speak. When the speaker talks about the night as a time for having fun, we can't help thinking of death as well.

  • Lines 1-2: The speaker says they'll go no more a roving late into the night. 
  • Line 4: Although the moon is "still as bright," they'll go no more a roving. The word "still" means "also," but we also detect the sense of "not moving." Death is nearby. The moon here seems to symbolize all that is alluring about the night. The night as an implied seductress… interesting indeed. 
  • Line 9: The night was made for loving. We could interpret this two ways. Either the night is so awesome it is made to be loved, or the nighttime is the right time for loving—for chasing girls, having sex, that sort of thing.
  • Lines 11-12: Despite everything, the speaker and company will go no more a roving by the light of the moon. The light of the moon makes the moon again sound like a symbol of everything that is alluring about the night.
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