"The broad stream in his banks complaining,..."
See in text (Text of the Poem)
The river is personified as “complaining” while the weather becomes stormy and violent in the wake of the curse. Rather than a passive element of the Lady’s surroundings, the river is now an active presence, swollen and irritated by the rain and wind. This introduces the question of whether the Lady’s isolation was meant as punishment or protection: it led to dissatisfaction, but it also kept the harsher realities of the world away from her. Throughout the poem, the Lady’s stagnant, isolated life on her silent isle is contrasted with the movement of the river around the tower. In leaving the tower, the Lady symbolically “re-enters” the flow of life, which entails the process of dying.