Topic outline

    • My Native Land (Poem – From The Lay of the Last Minstrel by Sir Walter Scott)

      About the poem

      A.  Read to understand

      1. True renown is achieved by one who

          a) has great wealth and reputation.

          b) has lived all his life in his native land.

          c) has the love and respect of his countrymen.


      2. A man who shows no feelings towards his country meets

          a) a painful end.

          b) an anonymous end.

          c) a disreputable end.


      3. What kind of person would have a ‘soul so dead’?

      Ans. A man who has no love for his country and feels ashamed of accepting his identity in a foreign land has a soul which is dead.


      4. Who, according to the poet, is not capable of loyalty towards his country?

      Ans. According to the poet, a person who has turned away his footsteps from his native land and never returned back is not capable of loyalty towards his country.


      5. Explain the line ‘For him no Minstrel raptures swell’.

      Ans. Minstrels were the singers singing praises in the royal courts. They used to sing glories of brave and good people. The poet says that for an unpatriotic person, no singers sing songs of praise.


      6. How would a person who does not love his country die twice?

      Ans. A person who does not love his country would die twice because he will be ignored by his contemporaries and totally forgotten after his death; therefore he will die physically and die in people’s memories, regardless of his social status and wealth.


      B.  Discuss

      1. The love for one’s country is expressed at different times and in several ways. In times of war, soldiers express their love by standing and fighting in the line of fire. During such times, people who are not soldiers may express their love by pooling in resources to support the cost of war. Some might say that the action of the soldiers is more patriotic than that of the civilians. What do you think? Have a debate on this topic in class.

      Ans. (Do it yourself)


      2. Discuss in class other ways of expressing patriotism.

      Ans. Hint: Other ways of expressing patriotism:

      1. Know what patriotism is.

      2. Vote without fail.

      3. Buy local products.

      4. Support the army and active-duty military.

      5. Keep your surroundings clean.

      6. Be proud of/campaign about the pros of your country.

      7. Celebrate the diversity of your country.

      8. Pay your taxes.

      10. Fly the Flag

      (Answer will vary)


      C.  Read to appreciate

      Read aloud the first two lines of the poem.

      Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,

      Who never to himself hath said

      Notice that the last words in the two lines rhyme, that is, they have the same ending sound. Such rhyming words at the end of the lines of a poem are called end rhymes.

      A rhyming couplet is a set of two successive lines that have the same end rhyme.

      1. Find the other end rhymes in the poem.

      Ans. dead-said, land-strand, burn’d-turn’d, well-swell, name-claim, pelf-self, renown-down, sprung-unsung


      2. How many rhyming couplets are there in the poem?

      Ans. 7