The speaker begins by stating that God created human beings to enjoy peace and abundance (line 1). However, humans lost this initial Paradise due to sin. Their situation became worse and worse (2-5). Then the speaker addresses God directly and asks to rise up to the sky like a lark (6-8). As an Easter poem, the image of birds and wings symbolizes Christ’s resurrection. The speaker then calls for humanity to join Christ and celebrate the “victory” of resurrection over death (9). If they can succeed in this, then even the “Fall,” the expulsion from Paradise due to sin, will have been worth it because it allowed believers to rise with Christ (10)
The second stanza tells a similar story from the perspective of the individual speaker. Even at a young age, he suffered (11-12). This was a punishment given by God, just like the punishment given to Adam and Eve (13). The speaker’s life became increasingly diminished and his health began to suffer (14-15). As in the first stanza, half-way through, the speaker begins to address God directly. He asks to feel the victory of the resurrection and join God (16-18). Using the metaphor of “imping,” a term from falconry that means adding feathers to an existing wing, the speaker asks to rise with Christ to the Kingdom of Heaven (19). If he succeeds, it is because of the great lows and pains he suffered taught him how to fly (20).