This poem in my opinion, is about a young man headed off to war, saying goodbye to his lover. He implements two opposing values in his works, comparing the love of another to fantasies of war. The poet's description of his love is cliche to the stereotypical look on love but then he describes war as an obstacle to his love. It is almost as if he views war as a third party, intruding on his relationship when he uses the phrase "A new mistress now I chase". Mistresses is a fancy term for a home-wrecker so in essence war is the breaking point of any young love. The love is young mainly because of the word choice and the description of love; older love focuses on time and longevity whereas young love focuses on the feelings and emotions. In my eyes I imagine a young couple being torn apart because all boys are to be drafted into the army. It seems that scenario is replayed every generation that involves war. But the poet believes that love is not enough to keep him alive, but faith and protection will. The sword horse and shield are three tools that knights utilized during war time and in a sense the individual must believe in his weapons in order for them to reach their full potential. Tying these concrete ideas with the abstract feelings, the poet finds an equilibrium between fantasy and reality. The reality is that war never changes across generations, but neither does love. In the last stanza he concludes the poem by dismissing his "love" for war, his mistress. We are not sure if he ever reunites with his orignal lover but from the last stanza we know that he is done with war. I assume that during his involvement with war, it defeated the stereotypical view of fantasy and bravery; he saw the harshness reality and it changed him.