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    #1

    Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.

    Hi, there.

    That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
    Should seem “a cuckoo-song,” as thou dost treat it,
    Remember, never to the hill or plain,
    Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
    Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
    -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese, 'Sonnet 21”

    1. I can’t figure out the meaning of the last line, especially how ‘completed’ works.
    Here’s my guess: (Without Spring’s cuckoo-song) the new Spring in all green dress never comes in a completed way.
    Am I right?

    2. I’d also like to know the meaning of ‘fresh’ in the last line.
    For now, I think it might mean ‘new’ like in ‘freshman’ because the spring is personified, but there are a lot of meanings in fresh. I have two other possible choices in a dictionary:
    4. [usually before noun] pleasantly clean, pure or cool
    8. looking clear, bright and attractive
    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie...resh_1?q=fresh
    Would you tell me the correct meaning?

    Thanks in advance.

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    #2

    Re: Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.

    It may be helpful to rearrange the words and shorten as: The fresh Spring never comes completed to hill, etc. without her cuckoo-strain.

    There's a sort of joke, wherein the woman complains that her husband never says, 'I love you' anymore, to which he replies, "Look honey: I said I love you on our wedding day. If that ever changes, I'll let you know."

    I think the writer is expressing her need to hear the words in order to feel loved. He may get a bit tired of saying them, but she never tires of hearing them.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.

    Students should be aware that Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61) was writing at a time when the seasons of the year were capitalised.

    This is no longer the case.

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