Break, Break, Break up poem’s wrote by  Alfred, Lord TennysonThe Poet is in a melancholy mood. He is standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Valencia, and very sad on the death of his beloved friend.

Stanza 1:
Break, break, and break,
On the cold grey clone stone, O sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

Meanings:
Break (to burst into foam; to shatter over rocks; to clash against stones) Sea (symbol of death)

Paraphrase:
The sea-waves are invoked to continue striking against the cold grey stones on the shore. The poet says that it would be marvelous if he could express the emotions that have arisen in him in the presence of rising and falling waves of the sea.

Reference to the Context:
This stanza – quote has been taken from the Break, Break, Break up poem’s  “Break, Break, Break” written in the name of his beloved friend Hallam – by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This is an elegy (heavy-heartedness; emotional pain) written on the tragic (sudden) death of the poet’s dear friend Hall am. The poet is in a melancholy mood. He is standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Valencia.

Explanation:
The poet is looking out at the sea and the rise and the fall of the waves has stirred some deep thoughts of within him. The sea is symbol of death and the final voyage towards the eternal life. Addressing the sea the poet makes a solemn request to continue striking and shattering its waves over the cold grey (light dark) stones. The nature is in the gay form. The sea-waves are dashing up into foam which looks like blue diamonds. The poet is so much depressed that he is not able to find appropriate words to express the emotion that the wonderful sight has aroused in him. The poet wants to impress upon our mind that Nature is totally unannounced with the destiny of man. Men may come and men may go but the natural phenomena remain the same.

Stanza 2:
O well for the fisherman’s boy,
That he shouts with sister at play!
O (express wonder) well for sailor lad(a body),
That he sings in his boat on the bay!

Meanings:
O (‘O’ is used to express wonder and admiration) bay (a part of the sea enclosed by wide curve of the shore) lad (a body or a young man)

Paraphrase:
The joy of the fisherman’s boy knows no bounds. He is at play with his sister and is shouting at her. The sailor’s lad is sitting in his boat. He is singing a joyful song and is rowing his boat in a part of the sea enclosed by a wide curve of the shore.

Reference to the Context:
This stanza – quote has been taken from the Break, Break, Break up poem’s “Break, Break, Break” written in the name of his beloved friend Hallam – by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This is an elegy (heavy-heartedness; emotional pain) written on the tragic(sudden) death of the poet’s dear friend Hall am. The poet is in a melancholy mood. He is standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Valencia.

Explanation:
In this stanza the poet wants to appreciate the wonderful way of playing of the fisherman’s boy. He is playing with his sister and shouting at her to be careful. Both are involved in a joyful activity. Then the poet turns to look at the sailor’s lad who is sitting is his boat. He is singing a joyful song and is rowing his boat in a part of the sea enclosed by a wide curve of the shore. He is extremely happy while the poet is sad and under tension because of the tragic death of his dear friend Hall am.

Stanza3:
And the stately ships go on
To their haven (a harbor) under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished (disappeared) hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Meanings:
Stately (greatly impressive; magnificent) haven (a harbor; an inlet affording shelter to ships) vanished (disappeared; invisible)

Paraphrase:
And the ships move on to their harbor under the hill in greatly impressive way. But he feels sorry for a friend who has disappeared and the poet cannot hear him talking because he silent.

Reference to the Context:
This stanza – quote has been taken from the Break, Break, Break up poem’s “Break, Break, Break” written in the name of his beloved friend Hallam – by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This is an elegy (heavy-heartedness; emotional pain) written on the tragic (sudden) death of the poet’s dear friend Hall am. The poet is in a melancholy mood. He is standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Valencia.

Explanation:
The poet is looking out at the sea and happens to sea ships carrying men and cargo moving towards a harbor. The harbor is sheltered by a hill. The sight of ships sailing at sea is really impressive. Even the beautiful sight cannot shake off the sadness. Then the poet expresses his longing to touch the hand of his sweet friend who is dead and buried. His hand has disappeared under earth and his voice is also silent. He wishes to listen to talk to him in a frank and friendly fashion.

Stanza 4:

Break, Break, Break,
At the foot of the crags (rough steep rocks), O sea!
But the tender grace (delicate beauty) of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Meanings:
Crags (rough steep rocks; rugged rocks) tender (delicate; soft; affectionate) grace (elegance in form or manner, beauty, charm)

Paraphrase:
The sea-waves are requested solemnly to go on striking at the foot of the rough steep rocks on the shore, is the affectionate charm and beauty of a day spent in the jolly company of my dear friend will never come back to me.

Reference to the Context:
This stanza – quote has been taken from the Break, Break, Break up poem’s “Break, Break, Break” written in the name of his beloved friend Hallam – by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This is an elegy (heavy-heartedness; emotional pain) written on the tragic (sudden) death of the poet’s dear friend Hall am. The poet is in a melancholy mood. He is standing on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean at Valencia.

Explanation:
In this stanza the poet is addressing the sea and making a solemn request to continue striking and shattering its waves at the foot of the rugged rocks. The nature seems to be in a jolly mood. The sea-waves are dashing up into foam which looks like diamonds. On the contrary, the charm of the days gone by has disappeared because of the death of a dear friend. Probably the poet along with his friend Hallam used to visit this spot and spent hours catting with him. It is pity that he cannot touch his hand and hear him talking. It has caused depression and tension. Remember the sea is also a symbol of death and the final voyage towards the eternal life.