Stanza 5 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
- The middle brother was totally different: he was pure and innocent, but he was a fighter. He was strong and tough – the kind of guy who would stand up to anyone and never give an inch.
- He should have been a soldier and fought for what he believed in on the battlefield – he wasn't the type to waste away all chained up in prison.
- The middle brother can't deal with being imprisoned, so he loses hope and starts to waste away. Every "clank" of the chains seems to "wither" his spirit.
- The speaker says that his own spirits weren't doing so well, either, but he forced himself to act cheerful in order to help his brothers, who are his only reminders ("relics") of home.
- The middle brother was a hunter – he had wandered all over the mountains hunting "deer and wolf," which is why he had the hardest time adjusting to being chained up in a prison.
- Being imprisoned was pretty much the worst thing that could have happened to the middle brother.
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