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From Childe Roland:

As when a sick man very near to death
Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end
The tears
and takes the farewell of each friend,
And hears one bid the other go, draw breath
Freelier outside, (“since all is o’er,” he saith,
“And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;”)

What is the meaning of this phrase? Does it mean that he somehow feels that the mourners begin crying, and then stop crying?

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    It's an inversion: he feels the tears begin and end. Each friend weeps while taking leave of the dying man, but stops weeping upon leaving the room. "And still the man hears all, and only craves / He may not shame such tender love and stay." Jun 16, 2016 at 10:21
  • @StoneyB - thank you! Please feel free to post your comments as answers right away. If you're too shy of getting a surfeit of points, you could post them in community wiki form. ^_^ Jun 16, 2016 at 10:56
  • A pretty good Elizabethan knock-off.
    – TimR
    Jun 16, 2016 at 11:51
  • @TRomano - what is "knock-off"? Imitation? Jun 16, 2016 at 11:59
  • imitation or emulation, yes.
    – TimR
    Jun 16, 2016 at 12:00

1 Answer 1

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It's an inversion: he feels the tears begin and end. Each friend weeps while taking leave of the dying man, but stops weeping upon leaving the room. "And still the man hears all, and only craves / He may not shame such tender love and stay."

(Kudos to StoneyB)

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