There's a dark lantern of the spirit,

Which none see by but those who bear it,

That makes them in the dark see visions

And hag themselves with apparitions,

Find racks for their own minds, and vaunt

Of their own misery and want.

I see that 'them' in the third line takes verbs, see, hag, find and vaunt. As far as I know people normally use and in front of the last item. But in this case there is an 'and' between see and hag, where it is not infront of the last item. How can this possible?


The dark lantern makes its bearers(them) see visions in the dark and hag themselves with apparitions, (the lantern also makes them) find racks for their own minds and vaunt of their own misery and want.

There is nothing ungrammatical here. The verb is makes and the subject is the dark lantern. It makes them (the bearers) see, hag, find and vault (all are bare infinitive).

It seems Samuel Butler hasn't taken the so-called poetic license here.

(Poetic license: license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form, logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.