In Southey’s poem ‘After Blenheim’ why did the old man shake his head and have a natural sigh?
In Robert Southey’s poem ‘After Blenheim’, when Peterkin, the little boy, found something ‘large and smooth and round’ beside the rivulet and brought it to show his grandfather Kaspar, he shook his head thoughtfully and had a natural sigh. Kaspar then said, ”Tis some poor fellow’s skull, who fell in the great victory“.
So, shaking his head and the sigh were seemingly the expression of the pity of war felt by the old man. Though we see him praise the war as a ‘great victory’, he had a weak spot in his mind regarding the death and destruction that the Battle of Blenheim had caused.