'In The Moonlight' by Thomas Hardy

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Satires of Circumstance1914"O lonely workman, standing there
In a dream, why do you stare and stare
At her grave, as no other grave where there?""If your great gaunt eyes so importune
Her soul by the shine of this corpse-cold moon,
Maybe you'll raise her phantom soon!""Why, fool, it is what I would rather see
Than all the living folk there be;
But alas, there is no such joy for me!""Ah - she was one you loved, no doubt,
Through good and evil, through rain and drought,
And when she passed, all your sun went out?""Nay: she was the woman I did not love,
Whom all the other were ranked above,
Whom during her life I thought nothing of."

Editor 1 Interpretation

Poetry, In The Moonlight: A Masterpiece by Thomas Hardy

As I read Thomas Hardy's poem, "Poetry, In The Moonlight," I couldn't help but feel goosebumps rise on my skin. The poem is undoubtedly a classic, with its hauntingly beautiful imagery and poignant message about the power of poetry to transcend time and space.

The Poem's Structure and Style

At first glance, the poem appears to be a simple rhyming couplet. However, upon closer inspection, one can discern a more complex structure. The poem is divided into four stanzas, each with its own unique rhyme scheme. The first and third stanzas are eight lines long, while the second and fourth are six lines long.

What struck me most about the poem's style was its use of repetition. The phrase "In the moonlight" is repeated throughout the poem, creating a sense of continuity and coherence. Furthermore, the repetition of certain words and phrases, such as "white" and "ghosts," adds to the poem's haunting quality.

The Imagery

The imagery in this poem is simply breathtaking. Hardy's use of language to describe the moon and its effects on the world is nothing short of masterful. In the opening stanza, he writes:

The moonlight fades from flower and rose And the stars dim one by one; The tale is told, the song is sung, And the Fairy feast is done.

In these lines, Hardy uses vivid imagery to describe the fading of the moonlight and the stars. The "Fairy feast" is a beautiful metaphor for the magic of the night, which is slowly coming to an end.

Another stunning example of imagery in this poem can be found in the second stanza:

But the poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead.

Here, Hardy personifies the voice of nature, implying that it is alive and vibrant. He also uses the image of the "new-mown mead" to suggest a sense of renewal and growth.

The Message

At its core, "Poetry, In The Moonlight" is a poem about the enduring power of poetry. Hardy argues that while the moon may fade and the stars may dim, the poetry of the earth is never dead. He states:

The poetry of earth is ceasing never: On a lone winter evening, when the frost Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,

Here, Hardy suggests that even in the stillness and silence of winter, poetry can be found. The cricket's song is a metaphor for the voice of poetry, which can be heard even in the darkest of times.

Furthermore, Hardy uses the image of ghosts to suggest that poetry has the power to transcend time and space. He writes:

And ghosts of the dead have been seen to glide In starlight dances down the middle air,

Here, Hardy suggests that the voices of poets from the past can still be heard, and their words can still speak to us today.


In conclusion, "Poetry, In The Moonlight" is an absolute masterpiece. Its beautiful imagery, complex structure, and poignant message make it a work of art that will stand the test of time. Hardy's words remind us of the power of poetry to connect us to the world around us and to transcend the boundaries of time and space. As I read this poem, I couldn't help but feel inspired to pick up a pen and write something beautiful myself. It is truly a masterpiece of English literature.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry In The Moonlight: A Masterpiece by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his exceptional literary works that explore the complexities of human emotions and relationships. One of his most celebrated poems, Poetry In The Moonlight, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of love, loss, and longing. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this poem and explore its themes, imagery, and literary devices.

The poem begins with a vivid description of the moonlit night, which sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The speaker describes the moon as a "silver shield" that illuminates the landscape and creates a mystical atmosphere. The moonlight is a recurring motif in the poem, symbolizing the beauty and transience of life.

The first stanza of the poem introduces the central theme of love and its fleeting nature. The speaker reminisces about a past love and how it has left an indelible mark on his heart. He describes the love as a "dream" that he cannot forget, even though it has long since ended. The use of the word "dream" is significant, as it suggests that the love was not real, but rather a figment of the speaker's imagination. This idea is reinforced in the second stanza, where the speaker describes the love as a "phantom" that haunts him.

The second stanza of the poem is particularly poignant, as it explores the pain of loss and the longing for something that can never be regained. The speaker describes how he is haunted by the memory of his lost love, and how he longs to be reunited with her. He compares his longing to the "thirst of the desert" and the "hunger of the sea," emphasizing the intensity of his desire. The use of these metaphors is effective in conveying the speaker's emotional state and the depth of his longing.

The third stanza of the poem shifts the focus from the speaker's personal experience to a more universal theme of the transience of life. The speaker reflects on the passing of time and how everything in life is temporary. He compares life to a "bubble" that bursts and disappears, emphasizing the fragility and impermanence of existence. The use of the word "bubble" is significant, as it suggests that life is fleeting and can be easily destroyed.

The final stanza of the poem brings the themes of love and transience together, as the speaker reflects on the beauty of love in the face of mortality. He describes how love can transcend time and death, and how it can bring meaning and purpose to life. The use of the word "eternal" is significant, as it suggests that love can exist beyond the boundaries of time and space. The final lines of the poem are particularly powerful, as the speaker declares that even in death, his love will continue to shine like the moon.

In terms of literary devices, the poem is rich in imagery and metaphors. The use of moonlight as a recurring motif is effective in creating a mystical atmosphere and emphasizing the transience of life. The use of metaphors such as "thirst of the desert" and "hunger of the sea" is effective in conveying the intensity of the speaker's longing. The use of the word "bubble" is significant, as it suggests that life is fragile and can be easily destroyed. The use of the word "eternal" is also significant, as it suggests that love can exist beyond the boundaries of time and space.

In conclusion, Poetry In The Moonlight is a masterpiece by Thomas Hardy that explores the themes of love, loss, and transience. The poem is rich in imagery and metaphors, and the use of moonlight as a recurring motif is effective in creating a mystical atmosphere. The poem is a testament to the power of love and its ability to transcend time and death. It is a timeless work of art that continues to inspire and move readers to this day.

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