Analysis of The Elements

John Henry Newman 1801 (London) – 1890 (Edgbaston)

MAN is permitted much
To scan and learn
In Nature’s frame;
Till he well-nigh can tame
Brute mischiefs, and can touch
Invisible things, and turn
All warring ills to purposes of good.
Thus, as a god below,
He can control,
And harmonize, what seems amiss to flow
As sever’d from the whole
And dimly understood.

But o’er the elements
One Hand alone,
One Hand has sway.
What influence day by day
In straiter belt prevents
The impious Ocean, thrown
Alternate o’er the ever-sounding shore?
Or who has eye to trace
How the Plague came?
Forerun the doublings of the Tempest’s race?
Or the Air’s weight and flame
On a set scale explore?

Thus God has will’d
That man, when fully skill’d,
Still gropes in twilight dim;
Encompass’d all his hours
By fearfullest powers
Inflexible to him.
That so he may discern
His feebleness,
And e’en for earth’s success
To Him in wisdom turn,
Who holds for us the keys of either home,
Earth and the world to come.

Poetic Form
Metre 110101 1101 0101 111111 11011 0100101 1101110011 110101 1101 010110111 11101 01001 110100 1101 1111 1100111 01101 0010101 1001010101 111111 1011 1011011 101101 101101 1111 111101 11011 11110 1110 010011 111101 11 011101 110101 1111011101 100111
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,040
Words 170
Sentences 10
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 12, 12, 12
Lines Amount 36
Letters per line (avg) 20
Words per line (avg) 5
Letters per stanza (avg) 244
Words per stanza (avg) 56
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

51 sec read

John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman CO, also referred to as Cardinal Newman, was an important figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. more…

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