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Written by Braga Lena
For, right within, the sword of Sin
Pierced to its poisoned hilt,
And as molten lead were the tears we shed
For the blood we had not spilt.
The narrator describes the feeling he and other inmates experience while being in prison. The prisoners are all tormented by the sin they have done, a sin compared with a poisonous sword. The poison inside their body slowly kills them and their guilty conscious produces more pain than any other punishment could.
And wondered why men knelt to pray
Who never prayed before.
The idea that men find peace in religion and prayer becomes a motif from the beginning of the poem. Inside the prison, a place where there was no hope and where those inside where reminded constantly of the possibility of being hanged, the idea of God and forgiveness becomes the only thing keeping those inside from becoming hopeless. The prison walls influences those who didn’t believe in God to start thinking about him and to start to pray to him.
The morning wind began to moan,
But still the night went on:
For those inside the prison, the morning brought no comfort. They remained stuck in an endless night where darkness became the only reality they knew and where light and hope didn’t exist. For them, time seems to drag on and stretches to infinity which only amplifies the hardship they have to face.
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