"Stone walls do not a prison make...."

Rayines

Senior Member
Castellano/Argentina
Hello: These words are part of a poem from Richard Lovelace:
"Stone walls do not a prison make
nor iron bars a cage.................."
I wanted to ask if you consider the letters in blue as old English, or if it could be used nowadays for poetic language. How does it sound to modern ears?
(Sorry my English mistakes). Thank you.
 
  • volky

    Senior Member
    Spanish/English
    Sounds more like the Shakesperean era.

    It is saying that because the walls are made of stone, that doesn't mean that they are a prison. Something else is required for them to become a prison.
     

    Ecossaise

    Senior Member
    English
    Hello: These words are part of a poem from Richard Lovelace:
    "Stone walls do not a prison make
    nor iron bars a cage.................."
    I wanted to ask if you consider the letters in blue as old English, or if it could be used nowadays for poetic language. How does it sound to modern ears?
    (Sorry my English mistakes). Thank you.


    Because it is a poem, you could use the phrase in a poem today just as well as in Lovelace's day. Poetry is not ruled by grammar in the same way as prose.
     

    Rayines

    Senior Member
    Castellano/Argentina
    Sounds more like the Shakesperean era.

    It is saying that because the walls are made of stone, that doesn't mean that they are a prison. Something else is required for them to become a prison.
    Yes, volky, I understand the meaning, it's a nice poem. I was curious about that use of "do not a prison make", with the order reversed. Thanks :thumbsup:.
     
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