Idiom: 'After many a summer dies the swan'


Could you please tell me what the following idiom means? When can I possibly use it?

1-After many a summer dies the swan.


Hi Tom

I wouldn’t consider that an idiom. I’d say it’s simply a quote. Where did you find it? In this context?

The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

What do you think it might mean?


Wow Yankee… that first line sure rang a bell. What IS that from?

I can’t say the ‘swan’ line was that familiar though… Is it perhaps a continuation of the thought suggested in the first three lines that life is only transitory?

Many thanks, Amy

In fact Mr. Micawber used it in a sentence as an example. See below please:

Many a job depends entirely on experience

Amy, now you have got me curious! I am taking a few steps further and going to request you to explain the following to me.

Who is talking? Whose arms are being referred to?

Too philosophical indeed! :shock:

I want some light on the above lines please!


Ah, then maybe we should ask MM to explain. :lol:

The line is also the title of a book by Aldous Huxley (which I unfortunately haven’t read):

The poem (Tithonus) was written by Alfred Tennyson.

I think the links will help you understand things. :wink: