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History says,

Don’t hope on this side of the grave,

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up,

And hope and history rhyme.

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  • Which line? You quoted six lines. Aug 22, 2020 at 13:26
  • I couldn't get the essence of the whole part mentioned there. Can you please make me understand @MichaelHarvey please if its possible for you. Aug 22, 2020 at 13:28

1 Answer 1

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History says,
Don’t hope on this side of the grave

This means that history is full of misery and dashed hopes, and that might make a person pessimistic about the future. 'History' is personified in this poem, 'telling' people not to hope. "This side of the grave" refers to life.

But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up

This gives the reader reason for hope - that sometimes (once in a lifetime) justice does happen.

And hope and history rhyme.

This means that, when something good and just happens, it makes new history that does give reason for hope.

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