The Drowned Alive Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I was one so deeply drownedA
That when the drag my body foundA
Twas void of motion void of breathB
And to sensation dead as deathB
In a languid summer moodC
I had plunged into a floodD
That to the low sun s slanting beamsE
Gleamed with only quiet gleamsE
Each with a wide flicker sheetingF
From its still floor fast and fleetingF
E en such a flood as one would sayG
Could never or by night or dayG
Have drenched a man s warm life awayG
But what are these down in its bedH
That trail so long and look so redH
Moving as in conscious sportI
Are they weeds of curious sortI
But I ll drive to them and seeJ
Into all their mysteryJ
Down I dive A plentious cropK
Some shall with me to the topK
For here there is too dim a lightL
To show their character arightL
I wind them in my arms intentL
To root them up in my ascentL
But they resist me and againM
I tug them with a stronger strainN
Full well I trow they hold their ownO
Gripping fast each bedded stoneO
With their tuby roots that goP
Down through the stiff slime belowP
Well at last I find that IQ
Must leave them But in vain I tryQ
Fierce as lightning on my brainN
Smites the dread truth I try in vainN
Yea more and more in coils and flakesR
Like long blood red watersnakesR
The deadly things around me claspS
The more I tug the more they graspS
My pent breath growing hot and thinT
Explodes with a dull booming dinT
While through my unclenched teeth the waveU
Comes drenching Is there none to saveU
None near to see to guess to traceR
Under the water s gleaming faceR
The dread extremity of oneV
Thus fastened down Ah Is there noneV
Wild as vain my struggles growP
Horror horror life must goP
Hope gives up her ghost despairW
I am dying round me hereX
The long weeds erst so deeply redL
Look even where nearest grey as leadL
As mid them settling down I swayG
To and fro and fast awayG
Life keeps bubbling bubbling ayeQ
Through my cold lips wide agapeY
White and stiffening to that shapeY
They take at last when done with breathB
In the rigid face of deathB
And now while sullen drummings makeZ
My spirit through mine ears to acheZ
Life long memories interwroughtL
With all I ever felt or thoughtL
Sacred fancies hidden longA2
Lest the world should do them wrongA2
Pent back feelings that for yearsR
Just below the source of tearsR
Folded close their glowing wingsR
With a million other thingsR
All thick interthronging pressR
Through my drowning consciousnessR
Then comes the thought of how my doomB2
Must wrap my mother in its gloomB2
And give my sire to hold his breathB
For anguish hearing of my deathB
And wound one fond heart to the coreC2
In the wide world evermoreC2
All in the same instant soP
Do these quick thoughts come and goP
Life within my failing brainN
Full of pity full of painN
Lastly a drear stupor blentL
With a comfortless contentL
Into one mass of clammy clayG
Kneads mind and body Drenched awayG
With one faint shudder one last throeC2
Life stagnates and its shell lies lowP
Swaying weed bound to and froP
Void of feeling and of breathB
How die we if this be not deathB
Ah What thrilling thrilling painN
Kindles through my heart and brainN
Ah What horrors o er me waveU
Shadowing forth as from the graveU
Ah Those sudden gleams of lightL
They fall like firebrands on my sightL
Ah What vast and heavy worldL
Is all at once upon me hurledL
Massing into one immenseR
Oppression every tortured senseR
Yes I now remember wellD2
How my sudden fate befellD2
And are we then in death s grim thrallE2
Thus consciousness of our funeralF2
But where are they who most should mournG2
When by bier is graveward borneG2
With her whose face I yearn to seeR
Where are they And where is sheR
Where the crape trimm d followers allE2
Where the coffin and the pallH2
Or do death and nature striveI2
Within me Is the drowned aliveI2

Charles Harpur


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