Weekly Interlinear Poem




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Robert Jackson

This is the poem for the week of February 9.
A new interlinear poem is available each Monday.


Say not of me that weakly I declined

(Poem #38 from Underwoods, in which the poet places himself as a feature in his family's history)

-Robert Louis Stevenson


Say not of me that weakly I declined
declined=declined to pursue
The labours of my sires and fled the sea,
labours of my sires=the family business (building lighthouses)
fled the sea=fled from the sea
The towers we founded and the lamps we lit,
the towers . . . and the lamps=lighthouses and their lights
But rather say: in the afternoon of time
in the afternoon of time=a somewhat late time in the family's history
A strenuous family dusted from its hands
strenuous family=Stevenson as a feature of his family's history
dusted from its hands the sand of granite=gave up building lighthouses
The sand of granite, and, beholding far
Along the sounding coast its pyramids
And tall memorials catch the dying sun,
pyramids and tall memorials=lighthouses
Smiled well content and to this childish task
childish task=the work of a writer
Around the fire addressed its evening hours.
its=the family's
evening hours=a late time in the family's history





Say not of me that weakly I declined
The labours of my sires and fled the sea,
The towers we founded and the lamps we lit,
But rather say: in the afternoon of time
A strenuous family dusted from its hands
The sand of granite, and, beholding far
Along the sounding coast its pyramids
And tall memorials catch the dying sun,
Smiled well content and to this childish task
Around the fire addressed its evening hours.