On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three.
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Lines 1-2

These lines introduce the poem's theme and create a metaphor of Time as a bird flying away with ("stol'n on his wing") Milton's youth.

Line 4

The poet here uses a seasonal metaphor to express that his time of life is a "late spring" but that so far, it has not shown any "bud or blossom," in other words any promise of fruit or achievements in his life.

Lines 7-8

"Inward ripeness" continues the natural metaphor of "bud" and "blossom" in line 4; the poet has more maturity or ripeness inside than he shows outside, and more than some other young people, the "more timely-happy spirits" have. But, note the various possibilities in the word "endur'th." The lines are grammatically inverted and could be paraphrased, "and inward ripeness, that imbues / clothes some others, appears less in me." The phrase "timely-happy spirits" can be understood to refer to those...

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This section contains 397 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.