A poem by Byron:

If that high world, which lies beyond
Our own, surviving Love endears;
If there the cherished heart be fond,
The eye the same, except in tears—
How welcome those untrodden spheres!
How sweet this very hour to die!
To soar from earth and find all fears
Lost in thy light—Eternity!

It must be so: 'tis not for self
That we so tremble on the brink;
And striving to o'erleap the gulf,
Yet cling to Being's severing link.
Oh! in that future let us think
To hold each heart the heart that shares,
With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs!

What could be the meaning of the bolded phrase? "To hold with each heart the heart that shares" would make it a bit less hazy for me but still mysterious.

  • 2
    To hold can mean to deem or judge. Oct 30 '16 at 19:00
  • @TRomano -- oops, I should have combed through the dictionary entry before posting! Thank you! Oct 30 '16 at 19:02
  • 1
    I'd parse it as To hold [judge, classify] each heart to be the [a] heart that shares [good things with others]. But it's Lit Crit. Oct 30 '16 at 19:18
  • 3
    @FumbleFingers That's not LitCrit, that's just glossing or paraphrase. Oct 30 '16 at 20:15

To hold each heart the heart that shares

The speaker is saying

To hold each heart

to cherish / respect / behold the "heart" (love)

the heart that shares

meaning the love that is unselfish.

The speaker is contemplating what is after death

which lies beyond

and possibly concluding

With them the immortal waters drink,
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs!

that those that unselfishly love or that love itself can have a certain immortality.

Such is the romanticism of Lord Byron.

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