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’?
4. Who, according to the poet, is not capable of loyalty towards his country?
5. Explain the line ‘For him no Minstrel raptures swell’.
6. How would a person who does not love his country die twice?
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.
2. Discuss in class other ways of expressing patriotism.
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.
2. How many rhyming couplets are there in the poem?