The anniversary poem RTC

True and false fears let us refrain,

 Let us love nobly, ‘and live, and add again

Years and years unto years, till we attain

To write threescore, this is the second of our reign.

Reference:-     This stanza has been taken from the poem “The Anniversary” written by John Donne. In this poem John Donne depicts the celebration of the first anniversary of falling in love, and it also describes that how poet turn quite philosophical in this occasion.

Context:-   The poem is a celebratory occasion of John Donne’s love which is turning one year old. The given stanza is the final lines of the poem, in which the poet thought of death amidst this feeling of certitude appears to be out of tune. In a crescendo of ardour he echoes, and embellishes Catullus V, and said “let us love nobly”, and live. The inspired placing on one line of years and years unto years, slow the pace and enhances the sense of accumulation. We feel the years’ weariness perhaps, but also their span and fulness. The central theme of the poem is the immortality of true love which transcends death itself.

Critical Comments:-   The tone of these lines aspires to majestic certainty, reinforced, as are all end of stanza quatrains, by single rhyme sound. But a tremor of anxiety remains, and there’ even a certain pathos in the concluding declaration that year is the “the second year of our reign”. Donne seems to hint at the realization that the lovers, while destined for lifelong and death- defying fidelity, have still quite a way to go.

It is pointed out in the poem that the lovers will be like “all the rest”, thoroughly blessed in the afterlife. Thus, they will no longer have a unique and ageless relationship. Yet, while they remain on earth, they are in the special realm of constant love, which is available to none but to we. The lovers are subject to the progress but not the depredations of time. He concludes that they should “love nobly, and live, and add again the years and years unto years”.

These are the final lines of the poem. These three stanzas has ten lines and in each stanza has a rhyming structure of ABACCDDEE also known as rhyming couplets.

Also Read: Lycidas poem summary

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