The poem has the structure of five stanzas, each consisting out of six lines. The rhyme scheme of each of the stanza is the same and is a-b-c-b-d-d and the meter is iambic. The rhythm is not regular and is a method used to draw an analogy with a crying voice. The poem according to this type of construction has a lot of traits of a lyrical song or even a ballad, which also implies that the reader perceives it like a singing soul’s confession. This type of stanza perfectly fits the mood of the poem and makes it heartfelt. The last two d-d lines are the most melodic part of each stanza and contain the most voluptuous lines of the poem. Especially the last ones: “Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day. To find they have flown away?” which reflect the fear of the person to lose the last remainder of his youth.
The poem expresses very personal feelings of a man that has realized his maturity and dreams about staying young in his heart. This is especially resembled in the analogy with the swans: ”Their hearts have not grown old”. The opening stanza owing to its balladic construction shows the “sadness” and the nostalgic mood of the author:
[“THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.”]
The first two lines use autumn with all its manifestations as a metaphor of the sundown of the author’s young age. Four syllables in the first line and the three in the second one make the accent of the second line even harder. The “dry woodland paths” from the second line mean that a...