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So, We’ll Go No More A-Roving

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1 So, We’ll Go No More A-Roving
Lord Byron

2 So We'll Go No More a Roving
BY LORD BYRON (GEORGE GORDON) So, we'll go no more a roving    So late into the night, Though the heart be still as loving,    And the moon be still as bright. For the sword outwears its sheath,    And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe,    And love itself have rest. Though the night was made for loving,    And the day returns too soon, Yet we'll go no more a roving    By the light of the moon.

3 Background George Gordon Byron was born in 1788
He was described by an ex-lover as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’, he gained the reputation as a bad boy due to his excessive drinking, gambling, affairs and illegitimate children. ‘Roving’ means partying or having a good time.

4 Background The poem was written with a letter sent to his friend Thomas Moore, when he felt they were getting too old to live such a wild life. “The Carnival – that is, the latter part of it – and sitting up late o’nights, had knocked me up a little…I find the “sword wearing out the scabbard”, though I have but just turned the corner of twenty-nine.” He expresses his need to cease his activities at the age of 29 but dies as a result of his extravagant lifestyle at 36.

5 Influences The poem seems to be based on an earlier poem called ‘Maid of Amsterdam’ I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid, A-roving, a-roving, Since roving's been my ruin, I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid!

6 Subject & Tone The poem is about Byron’s decision to calm his wild ways. It is light in tone and Byron accepts that he has to change his pace and slow his life down. Bryon also expresses his view that love is a powerful and irresistible force but not an eternal one.

7 Auditory Features It begins with long and slow ‘O’ sounds, “We’ll go no more a-roving,” and implies the poet’s weary and exasperated consciousness. A “moaning” effect is created by this assonance, which may be Byron’s reflection on his physical state Sibilance is used in the second stanza, “For the sword outwears its sheath,” which also extends the delicate sound of “s” conveying Byron’s state of fragility. 

8 Imagery of The Moon – Stanza 1 and 3
Bryon uses the moon as a symbol for the passion for his wish to make love. The phrase, “So late into the night … moon be still as bright” suggests that Bryon believes that there is no difference between day and night to him. The word “Loving” also implies his love for going out and revelling.

9 Imagery Of The Moon – Stanza 1 and 3
From the first stanza, we can infer that Bryon does not believe night is for sleeping, and wants to waste no time of his life and continuously indulge in affairs. In the last sentence of the poem, this same idea is reinforced as the poet accepts that he cannot continue this lavish love life “by the light of the moon.”

10 Imagery – Stanza 2 Despite Lord Byron’s limitless desire for romance, he acknowledges his feebleness of body and mind, which shows that Byron has a hint of sensibility in him despite his rather immoral and profuse lifestyle.  There are two distinct innuendoes of the second stanza. The sword may have a phallic allusion, while the sheath is a symbol of a female. The phrase “the sword outwears its sheath,” indicates that Byron is now tired and has had enough. 

11 Imagery – Stanza 2 The “sword” may represent Bryon’s spirit or conscience, while the “sheathe” is what contains his spirit, which is his body. In other words, Byron’s way of acting due to the influence of his soul has taken its toll on his outer appearance, and therefore he recognises the need to take a break from his usual life.  “The heart must pause to breathe and love itself must have rest” Byron finally acknowledges that he has lived beyond his physical capabilities and admits that it is difficult to restrain oneself from something as compulsive as love, but failure to do so will result in morbid consequences.

12 Themes Life Pain Endurance Death Some elements of love

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