Robert Bridges makes this note upon Nepenthe: The Phoenix personifies the earth life of sun-joys, i.e., the joys of the sense. She is sprung of the Sun and is killed by the Sun. It is of the essence of sun-joys to be, in their sphere, as eternal as their cause; and their personification is without ambition to transcend them. The Phoenix is melancholy as well as glad; the sun-joys would not be melancholy if they did not perish in the using: but they are ever created anew. Their inherent melancholy would awaken ambition in the spirit of man. In the last stanza Mountainless means void of ambition, and unechoing means awakening no spiritual echoes.