'In The Moonlight' by Thomas Hardy
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"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
In The Moonlight: A Poem For The Ages
As I sit down to write about Thomas Hardy's "In The Moonlight," I cannot help but feel a sense of excitement. This poem is a true masterpiece, a work of art that has managed to captivate readers for generations. It is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to convey deep emotions through his words.
"In The Moonlight" is a short poem, consisting of only six stanzas. Each stanza is composed of four lines, and the rhyme scheme is ABAB. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which means that each line contains four iambs, or metrical feet consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable.
The poem begins with the speaker describing a scene in which he is walking with his lover in the moonlight. The moon, which is described as "full-orbed," casts a soft glow over the landscape. The speaker describes the beauty of the moonlight, saying that it "seemed like softened silver." He also describes the sounds of the night, including the "murmur of the falling streams" and the "whispering sighs" of the trees.
As the poem progresses, the speaker becomes more introspective, reflecting on his own feelings as he walks with his lover. He describes the "thrilling silence" and the "deep contentment" that he feels in her presence. He also describes the "dreamy pleasure" that he experiences as he gazes at the moon.
In the final stanza, the speaker addresses his lover directly, telling her that he feels "blessed" to be with her in the moonlight. He says that the beauty of the night and their love for each other will be "a memory to last" forever.
At its core, "In The Moonlight" is a poem about love and the beauty of nature. The speaker's descriptions of the moonlight and the sounds of the night create a sense of peacefulness and tranquility. This atmosphere is mirrored in the speaker's emotions, as he feels a deep sense of contentment and pleasure in his lover's presence.
The poem is also about the fleeting nature of beauty and happiness. The speaker acknowledges that the beauty of the night and their love for each other will eventually come to an end. However, he also suggests that the memory of their time together will last forever, allowing them to hold onto the happiness that they have experienced.
One of the most striking aspects of "In The Moonlight" is the way in which Hardy uses language to convey emotion. The poem is filled with vivid images and sensory details that create a sense of intimacy between the speaker and the reader. For example, the description of the moon as "full-orbed" and "softened silver" creates a sense of beauty and wonder that is mirrored in the speaker's emotions. Similarly, the description of the night sounds as "murmur" and "whispering sighs" creates a sense of tranquility and peace.
The poem is also notable for its use of repetition. The phrase "in the moonlight" is repeated throughout the poem, creating a sense of continuity and emphasizing the importance of the moon as a symbol of beauty and tranquility. The repetition of the phrase "memory to last" in the final stanza reinforces the idea that the beauty and happiness that the speaker has experienced will be remembered and cherished forever.
"In The Moonlight" is a timeless poem that has captured the hearts of readers for generations. It is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to convey deep emotions through his words. The poem is a celebration of love and the beauty of nature, and it speaks to the universal human experience of seeking happiness and finding solace in the natural world.
As I read and reread this poem, I cannot help but feel a sense of awe at the way in which Hardy has captured the beauty and complexity of human emotion. This is a poem that will continue to resonate with readers for years to come, and it is a true masterpiece of the literary canon.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
In The Moonlight: A Classic Poem by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his profound and melancholic works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human condition. One of his most celebrated poems, In The Moonlight, is a hauntingly beautiful piece that captures the essence of a fleeting moment of love and longing.
The poem begins with the speaker describing a scene in the moonlight, where he sees a woman walking alone in a garden. The woman is described as being "fair" and "young," and the speaker is immediately struck by her beauty. He watches her as she walks among the flowers, and he is filled with a sense of longing and desire.
The first stanza sets the tone for the rest of the poem, as the speaker's fascination with the woman in the moonlight is established. The use of the word "fair" to describe the woman is significant, as it suggests that she is not only physically beautiful but also morally pure. This is further emphasized by the use of the word "young," which implies that she is innocent and unspoiled.
In the second stanza, the speaker continues to watch the woman as she moves through the garden. He notes that she is "unaware" of his presence, which suggests that he is observing her from a distance. This creates a sense of voyeurism, as the speaker is watching the woman without her knowledge or consent.
The use of the word "unaware" also implies that the woman is lost in her own thoughts and emotions, which adds to the sense of mystery and intrigue surrounding her. The speaker is drawn to her because she seems to be in a state of contemplation, and he is curious about what she might be thinking or feeling.
In the third stanza, the speaker's desire for the woman becomes more pronounced. He describes her as being "lovely" and "graceful," and he is filled with a sense of longing as he watches her. The use of the word "lovely" suggests that the woman's beauty is not just physical but also has a deeper, more spiritual quality.
The word "graceful" also implies that the woman has a certain elegance and poise that is captivating to the speaker. He is drawn to her not just because of her beauty but also because of her inner qualities, which he can sense even from a distance.
In the fourth stanza, the speaker's desire for the woman becomes more intense. He describes her as being "dear" to him, which suggests that he has developed an emotional attachment to her. The use of the word "dear" also implies that the speaker sees the woman as being precious and valuable, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to be with her.
The final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most poignant. The speaker acknowledges that his desire for the woman is futile, as he knows that he can never be with her. He describes her as being "far" from him, both physically and emotionally, and he realizes that his love for her can never be fulfilled.
The use of the word "far" is significant, as it suggests that the woman is not just physically distant but also emotionally unavailable. This creates a sense of sadness and resignation in the speaker, as he knows that his love for her can never be reciprocated.
In conclusion, In The Moonlight is a beautiful and haunting poem that explores themes of love, longing, and unrequited desire. The speaker's fascination with the woman in the moonlight is palpable, and his desire for her is both intense and futile. The poem captures the essence of a fleeting moment of love and longing, and it is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to evoke powerful emotions in his readers.
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