Reference : This stanza has been taken from the poem ‘A Lament composed by P. B. Shelley.
Context : This is one of the most pathetic poems written by Shelley. He had realised that he would not live long and his end of life was quite near. He compares his helplessness in the present to his bravery and courage in the past with which he had fought against the troubles and difficulties boldly.
Explanation : The first line of this opening stanza is full of pathos because the poet feels that he has come to an end of his life and time in this world. He compares his life to a ladder and imagines himself to be standing on its last rung. It appears that he had a premonition of his approaching death because he died only a year after he wrote this poem. The poet had fought the troubles and difficulties very bravely in the past but now he is trembling with fear at the thought of them. He is so much disappointed that he regrets that his youthful vigour and joys of life will not return to him any more.