Perceiving the Grecian Urn Essay

Submitted By Nathan27
Words: 648
Pages: 3

Perceiving the Grecian Urn In the first stanza, we have a person observing the old Grecian urn, thinking about the urn, trying to figure out its depiction of pictures frozen in time. It is the "still unravish'd bride of quietness," the "foster-child of silence and slow time." He also describes the urn as a "historian," which can tell a story. While wondering about the figures on the side of the urn, he asks what legend they depict, and where they are from. He looks at a picture that seems to display a group of men pursuing a group of women, and wonders what their story could be: "What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?" In the second stanza, the speaker looks at another picture on the urn, this time of a young man playing a pipe, lying with his lover under some trees. The observer of the urn says, that the piper's "unheard" melody's are sweeter than mortal melodies, because they are unchanging over time. He tells the youth that, although he can never kiss his lover because he is frozen in time, he should not grieve, because her beauty will never fade. In the third stanza, he looks at the trees surrounding the lovers and feels happy that they will never shed their leaves; he is happy for the piper because his songs will be "for ever new" and happy that the love of the boy and the girl will have an enduring love, unlike mortal love. " All breathing human passion far above, That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed, A burning forehead, and a parching toungue", descibes that mortal love will give you a high for only a short time and then leave you " A burning forehead, and a parching toungue." In the fourth stanza, he continues to take notice of another picture of a cow being led away to be sacrificed. He wonders "what green altar" the preist is taking the sacrifice to. The speaker is imagining the altar to be green; the green altar could mean that it is highly decorated for the sacrifice, or that there are rarely any sacrifices on it, so it has grown up with vegitation. He starts to think of a town (although none is shown in the picture) where the people are coming from and comes up with a peaceful mountianside town. In ending the discription of his made-up town, he states that, "And, little town, thy steets for evermore Will silent be; and