This poem is about a king who isn*t happy about the life he adopts presently,
obviously he finds no value in it, instead, a boring life he has. He wants
to be full of excitements.
In the first stanza we can see that the present king is not willing
to rule over those "barren crags",who "hoard, and sleep and feed....",and
"know not me". These barren crags are not grateful to what the king has
done for them; thus, they don*t even recognize the king. The king doesn*t
only want exciting life, he also want to be famous, as we can see it from
"become a name". In other hand we can also see that he is proud of what
he is and what he has done from "I am part of all that I have met" he realizes
that he is old and has little time left, as he said "and one of all to
me ....remains" but he doesn*t want to waste his time on the daily routine
which is "mete and dole unequal laws unto a savage race".instead of the
ruling of the country, he wants to "follow the knowledge...sinking star",
here we can see he is still very anxious and desperate for knowledge even
though he is "gray spirit yearning in desire".he is so determined as the
experience"whose margin fades forever" but he still want to follow like
In the second stanza. he is describing the qualities which his son
"Telemachus" has and which he doesn*t have. These qualities are prudence,
gentleness and tenderness, these are the qualities for a person to become
a good king especially when the people he is ruling over "barren crags".so
the old king is very willing and very happy to leave the symbol of power
and authority "scepter and isle" to his son, and due to this, he can do
what ever he wants to do , that is leaving the country behind and go for
excitements and knowledge.
In the last stanza, his attitude becomes more encouraging. He is encouraging
his old partners who went thro the past with him, and here again we
can see his determination and his braveness, therefore, he knows he is
not that young anymore, the only thing he got is the strong will, because"made
weak by time and fate, but he still want " to sail beyond the sunset*until
This poem is basically telling people that never give up what you aim
for and if you got problems you should overtake it but not just back off.
This is a encouraging poem I would rather say .