Swinburne, A Cameo

Swinburne capitalizes various abstract notions such as Desire, Pain, Pleasure, Satiety, and Death. The poem begins with Desire which Swinburne uses to create a distinction between youth and old age. To me, these couple of lines show that age is not necessarily defined by number but rather by the ability of an individual to still desire things and to dream. Desire is accompanied by Pain and Pleasure. Pain is personified with the body of fire and Pleasure is personified “with gaunt hands,” meaning that it is waning with each. The old try to hold on with “insatiable Satiety” but the past is haunting them and Death is coming.

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