So We’ll Go No More a Roving: explore in detail lines which you find particularly striking


8 thoughts on “So We’ll Go No More a Roving: explore in detail lines which you find particularly striking

  1. “So we’ll go no more a roving” is a poem composed by Lord Byron in 1817. The poem is formed by three quatrains, with continual rhymes which follow the pattern ABAB. At the age of twenty-nine he wrote a letter to his friend Moore in which he included the poem. He wrote: “Though I did not dissipate overmuch… yet I find the sword wearing out the scabbard, though I have but just turned the corner of 29.”
    The first stanza is characterised by the word “SO”, which begins the whole poem. The choice of this word is particularly effective as it seems more to introduce a conclusive statement, and not a beginning. This emphasises the fact that he has accepted the end of his young age, and that he is ready to start a new, and more tranquil life. On the other hand, the last two lines of this stanza are contradictory. “The heart be still as loving” and the use of the word “moon”, both express the meaning that party spirit is still bright in his body, and although his heart is still young and wants to party, his body cannot yet sustain it.
    In the second stanza he writes the love he had for parties and having fun. The first and the second line are particularly striking as they use a very strong image to describe the actual conditions of his body: “sword outwears its sheath” and “soul wears out his breast”. The image created by the sword entering his body is intended to emphasise the fact that him, and his soul, want to party, but the body do not permit it anymore. In addition to this image, a much more calm one is added in the last two lines: “heart must pause” and “love itself have a rest”. What he is saying is that his heart has to rest and his conclusion is to listen to it.
    The first stanza, which represents the real conclusion of the poet, stands out for its melancholy and sadness. The poet is resigned and reluctant towards the idea of stopping with the parties. The words “Yet” and “no more”, are well-chosen as it emphasises the poet’s melancholy. The phrase “go no more a-roving” also makes clear the fact that there will be no more parties and fun. A clear connection can also be noticed between the last line of both stanzas one and three, as they both take the moon as subject.
    Lord Byron achieved in creating a striking tone of melancholy and sadness, through his detailed choice of words and phrases which emphasise meanings and ideas, about his life without parties.

  2. The analysis you made of the choice of the word “SO” at the beginning of the poem was very affective because you clearly explained how it emphasises the fact that the poet has accepted the end of his young age, and that he is consciously ready to start a new, and more tranquil life. Also the way you explained how the two quotes “The heart be still as loving” and “moon” express a contradicting thought to the one exposed before as they explain how part of his spirit is still bright and his heart is still young and wants to keep living a lively life, but unfortunately his body cannot sustain this strong wish.I think you should have given more importance to the two opposite messages that his body are sending to him and to why he finally listens to his heart saying to him that he has to rest and slow down the rhythm of his life. Expand the second paragraph in order to analyse and give more importance to how this decision is painful for him but is necessary.
    Alice Fortuna

  3. I really liked the view on the moon and i wanted to deepen by saying that for Byron the moon is like a symbol for passion, the phrase “So late into the night … moon be still as bright” suggest that for the poet there is no difference between day and night, and in the last sentence of the poem this idea is being reinforced “by the light of the moon”.
    When you’re tanking about the “sword” and the “sheath” may represent that now Byron is tired, rapresenting his spirit.
    In the end I think that the poem “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving” potrays the character of Byron, whose life was full of luxury and women.
    Greta Finco

    1. Yes – the moon symbolism is significant; you could think about the usual connotations of the moon in literature, e.g. madness (lunacy), freedom…
      Careful – in poems we have “lines”, not “sentences”…. also beware: “rapresent”.
      Thanks, Ms O’Grady

  4. Well, although I can agree with all the above meanings I think that the poem also says that love cannot last because both the body and the heart both grow wearisome of love – particularly to the same person. “The sword wears out the sheath” – a very phallic symbol and “The soul wears out the breast and love itself have rest” – the intensity of the feelings of the heart/spirit cannot be sustained and thus the lover will take a rest from love.

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