Study Guide

The Defence of Guenevere Lines 67-79

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Lines 67-79

"Christmas and whitened winter passed away,
And over me the April sunshine came,
Made very awful with black hail-clouds, yea

"And in the Summer I grew white with flame,
And bowed my head down: Autumn, and the sick
Sure knowledge things would never be the same,

"However often Spring might be most thick
Of blossoms and buds, smote on me, and I grew
Careless of most things, let the clock tick, tick,

"To my unhappy pulse, that beat right through
My eager body; while I laughed out loud,
And let my lips curl up at false or true,

"Seemed cold and shallow without any cloud.

  • Now the speaker describes the passage of the seasons: winter and spring and summer pass, and by autumn she knows that "things would never be the same."
  • She doesn't say how or why things wouldn't be the same, though. (There's a heck of a lot she doesn't tell us.)
  • She says that all the blossoms of spring "smote" on her – in other words, they made her feel bad instead of a happy and cheerful, like spring makes most people feel.
  • She became "careless" and depressed, and let time just kind of slip by.
  • She doesn't say that she was unhappy, but that her "pulse" was. Does she mean that she was sorry she had a pulse? That she was almost sorry to be alive? It's unclear.
  • She says that she "laughed" and smiled, but her heart wasn't in it – she allowed herself to smile whether it was "false or true."
  • Everything seemed "cold and shallow" to her.

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