To Sir John Lade On His Coming Of Age

I need someone to provide an in-depth explanation for Samuel's Johnson poem, "To Sir John Lade, On His Coming of Age."

Here is the poem :

Long-expected one and twenty Lingering year at last is flown Pomp and pleasure, pride and plenty Great Sir John, are all your own.

Loosened from the minor’s tether, Free to mortgage or to sell, Wild as wind, and light as feather, Bid the slaves of thrift farewell.

Call the Bettys, Kates, and Jennys, Every name that laughs at care, Lavish of your grandsire’s guineas, Show the spirit of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly Joy to see their quarry fly, Here the gamester light and jolly, There the lender grave and sly.

Wealth, Sir John, was made to wander, Let it wander as it will; See the jockey, see the pander, Bid them come, and take their fill.

When the bonny blade carouses, Pockets full, and spirits high, What are acres? What are houses? Only dirt, or wet or dry.

If the guardian or the mother Tell the woes of wilful waste, Scorn their counsel and their pother You can hang or drown at last.

Expert Answers

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Samuel's Johnson poem, "To Sir John Lade, On His Coming of Age" can be more easily understood when broken down stanza by stanza.

In poetry, [a] stanza refers to a grouping of lines, set off by a space, that usually has a set pattern of meter and rhyme.

The meter is a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables; this particular poem is written in a trochaic meter, where stress is placed on the first syllable of each pair.

Johnson's work is an example of lyric poetry.

...a short poem with one speaker (not necessarily the poet) who expresses thought and feeling.

The first stanza is addressed to Sir John Lade, and has been written to "celebrate" his twenty-first birthday which has followed a long and "lingering" year of anticipation on Lade's part.

The second stanza relates that Lade is no longer a minor (under twenty-one); he is now legally eligible to mortgage and sell his land, may live as wildly as he wants, and no longer must be thrifty (frugal) with his money, which he probably had to do...

(The entire section contains 604 words.)

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