THIS USER ASKED 👇

If gaining the top in the fourth stanza means “success,” what does the poem say about success?

THIS IS THE BEST ANSWER 👇

To be clear, the poem in question is George Herbert’s “The Pilgrimage”.

The fourth verse speaks of investing a great effort to climb a hill, with great hope. He manages to reach the top, but all he gets is a stale, “profitable” lake. If the top were a metaphor for success, it would mean that success cannot really be achieved. We cannot (and should not) climb and try, only to discover that it is the next hill that will fulfill our hope.