Language

Hyperbole

Throughout the poem the poet makes use of hyperbole. He speaks of forever, doom, ocean, eternity - all exaggerated concepts in describing his love, hoped for, but not achievable in reality. The hyperbole allows us to realise the strength of his passion for her.

He goes to places of great natural beauty when talking about his love. We can therefore assume that when he thinks of her he thinks of beauty- she is beautiful. By making allusion to these places we know that she is precious to him. He feels protective towards her, we can tell this by his use of the metaphor 'rampart wall'. He will protect her against an alien eternity.

Anthropomorphism

He uses anthropomorphism when he attributes animal characteristics to landscape feature, as in great white mouth, two hard jaws and grinding its teeth

Repetition

MacLean uses repetition - if we were, and if we were starting stanzas one and two and And if I were in stanza three, with you. The repeating of the phrase stresses his commitment.

He also repeats I would six times throughout the poem. Again repeition emphasises how deeply he is thinking about his love and how much he desires to be with her.

Imagery

Imagery is vivid throughout the poem, allowing us to visualise the wildness and beauty of the landscape he uses to pledge his love, such as in on the shore of Homhsta/ in presence of that wide solitude.. The scale of the landscape and the sea effectively reflects the enormity of time and hence the power of MacLean's love.