Right, bar approach to me, And grinding Might, with furious frown, Swear endless enmity

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Senior Member
The quotation comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 24


Though haughty Hate should strike me down,
Right, bar approach to me,
And grinding Might, with furious frown,
Swear endless enmity.

Context: The sweet song (or rather, the poetry) Mr. R was singing.
Hi everyone! I don't quite understand the bold part. Poetries, I suppose, are the nightmare for most of English learners. :confused::oops: I try to interpret it as below. Is it correct?

grinding => crushing (into pieces)
might => overwhelming power

the whole sentence => It would be declared wrong to approach to me (so others are barred to approach to me); the crushing might, with furious frown (Might was personified, I take it as "a powerful monster"), would swear it would harbor enmity towards me forever.
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Poetries Poems, I suppose, are the a nightmare for most of English learners.
    Yes, they certainly can be.

    The entire stanza you have quote is governed by the initial "Though," which sets up a hypothetical and means "Even if." It also relies on having read two previous portions of the poem:

    Might and Right, and Woe and Wrath,
    Between our spirits stood.
    . . .
    I care not in this moment sweet,
    Though all I have rushed o’er
    Should come on pinion, strong and fleet,
    Proclaiming vengeance sore:​

    The poem personifies "Might," "Right," etc. (as you can tell by the capital letters). Jane says that she overcame them, and then speculates about what would happen if they were to return to seek revenge for their defeat. The last three lines I quoted, and the stanza you quoted, both beginning with "though," create this hypothetical, which has already been answered by the preceding line "I care not."

    In this sweet moment, it would not matter to me
    . . .
    Even if arrogant Hate were to strike me down,
    And Right were to stop people from approaching me,
    And powerful Might, frowning with anger,
    Were to swear eternal hatred between it and me.​


    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the above, Right = Justice, the law - the song is describing Mr R's history, background and position in respect of Jane.
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