Edwin Muir's poem "Merlin" is not divided up into stanzas, but still has three very distinct sections which each ask a question. The question is essentially the same one, just phrased in three different ways. The author asks Merlin, who is supposed to know the future, if there will ever be a utopian society, like Camelot or Eden. The author's tone in the poem is longing and sad. The author uses diction, allusion and irony to create this tone.
In the first two lines, the author addresses Merlin, who is "deep on the diamond of the day". This diamond is the perfection of past times, like Camelot, and Merlin is within those times.
The first question that is asked is if the original sin of Adam will ever be righted, and if man's past sins can be overcome. The author asks if a singer, or storyteller will ever sing away past sin. The author uses the word "furrow" because it not only refers to the mark that Adam made on God's perfect world, but of the facial expression of a furrowed brow, which implies sadness. This shows the author's intention of making of tone sad. Notice that the author asks about man's past mistakes and sins.
In the second question, the author asks if man's current faults and sins will ever be overcome. He also asks if the past can be erased, and memories forgotten.
The third question deals more with the future, and starts with the word "will". He asks if three fairy tale conventions will ever come true. The three questions show a progression from past, to present, to future.
Throughout the poem, the author uses diction that has a connotation of a fairy tale or fantasy story. Words and phrases like "Crystal cave", "diamond", "music", "gate of memory", "magic", "sleeping bride", "tower" are all conventions of the fairy tale. The ironic part about the author doing this is that fairy tales are not true, and are often very very far from reality. Camelot never really existed, and that Eden ever existed is debatable.