Elegy V: His Picture
This poem was first published in 1633.
Elegy V: His Picture
Here take my picture, though I bid farewell;
Thine, in my heart, where my soul dwells, shall dwell.
’Tis like me now, but I dead, ’twill be more
When we are shadows both, than ’twas before.
When weather-beaten I come back; my hand,
Perhaps with rude oars torn, or sun-beams tanned,
My face and breast of haircloth, and my head
With care’s rash sudden hoariness 1 o’erspread, 1 gray hair from old age
My body a sack of bones, broken within,
And powder’s 2 blue stains scattered on my skin; 2 gunpowder
If rival fools tax thee to have loved a man,
So foul, and coarse, as oh, I may seem then,
This shall say what I was: and thou shalt say,
Do his hurts reach me? doth my worth decay?
Or do they reach his judging mind, that he
Should now love less, what he did love to see?
That which in him was fair and delicate,
Was but the milk, which in love’s childish state
Did nurse it: who now is grown strong enough
To feed on that, which to disused tastes seems tough.
In lines 11-20, the speaker imagines a future moment of conflict between the beloved and the “rival fools” that serves to
A warn the beloved not to be too free with her affections
B promise that he will be willing to compete with the rival fools
C predict that the rival fools will be responsible for his decline
D assert that the beloved will remain true to him
E point out that the beloved too will inevitably age
The speaker’s presentation of his picture to his beloved builds suspense in the poem because it raises the possibility that the
A speaker ultimately values art more than he values personal relationships
B speaker is not confident that his love for the beloved will remain strong
C beloved will in the future need a reminder of what the speaker once was
D beloved and the speaker do not actually know each other very well
E the speaker does not plan to return to the beloved after his voyage
In lines 5-12 (“When . . . then”), the speaker describes changes that may take place in his appearance primarily in order to
A outline the reasons that his journey is necessary
B explain some surprising aspects of the picture
C suggest that he will understand if the beloved leaves him
D represent how difficult it will be to be away from the beloved
E dramatize the hardships that he is about to face
In context, lines 1-2 (“Here . . . dwell”) serve to indicate which of the following about the speaker?
A He is anxious to begin his journey despite his feelings.
B He suggests that he will remain unshaken in his devotion to his beloved.
C He expresses a fear that he may never see his beloved again.
D He recognizes that conflict is inescapable in relationships.
E He is determined to betray no sense of any danger.
The speaker’s comparison of his own youthful looks to “milk” (line 8) primarily serves to suggest
A an evolution in the beloved’s perspective as her love for him matures
B the possibility that his feelings for the beloved will sour as time passes
C the lack of knowledge he had in his youth about the difficulties of war
D the duty the beloved will have to care for him in his sickness and old age
E a large age difference between the beloved and himself
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