'Friends Beyond' by Thomas Hardy
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WILLIAM Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock churchyard now!
"Gone," I call them, gone for good, that group of local hearts and
Yet at mothy curfew-tide,
And at midnight when the noon-heat breathes it back from walls and
They've a way of whispering to me--fellow-wight who yet abide--
In the muted, measured note
Of a ripple under archways, or a lone cave's stillicide:
"We have triumphed: this achievement turns the bane to antidote,
Unsuccesses to success,
Many thought-worn eves and morrows to a morrow free of thought.
"No more need we corn and clothing, feel of old terrestrial stress;
Chill detraction stirs no sigh;
Fear of death has even bygone us: death gave all that we possess."
W. D.--"Ye mid burn the wold bass-viol that I set such vallie by."
Squire.--"You may hold the manse in fee,
You may wed my spouse, my children's memory of me may decry."
Lady.--"You may have my rich brocades, my laces; take each household
Ransack coffer, desk, bureau;
Quiz the few poor treasures hid there, con the letters kept by me."
Far.--"Ye mid zell my favorite heifer, ye mid let the charlock grow,
Foul the grinterns, give up thrift."
Wife.--"If ye break my best blue china, children, I sha'n't care or
All--"We've no wish to hear the tidings, how the people's fortunes
What your daily doings are;
Who are wedded, born, divided; if your lives beat slow or swift.
"Curious not the least are we if our intents you make or mar,
If you quire to our old tune,
If the City stage still passes, if the weirs still roar afar."
Thus, with very gods' composure, freed those crosses late and soon
Which, in life, the Trine allow
(Why, none witteth), and ignoring all that haps beneath the moon,
William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, murmur mildly to me now.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Friends Beyond: A Masterpiece of Thomas Hardy
As a literary enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the works of Thomas Hardy. His novels and poems are a treasure trove of emotions, philosophy, and human experiences. In this literary criticism, I will explore one of his masterpieces, "Friends Beyond."
"Friends Beyond" is a poem that celebrates the special bond that friends share, even beyond death. It was published in 1909, as part of Hardy's collection of poems "Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses." In this poem, Hardy uses his signature style of lyrical melancholy to weave a tale of friendship that transcends the physical world.
The poem is divided into three stanzas of eight lines each. It has a rhyme scheme of ABABCDCD, which gives it a musical quality. The first stanza sets the tone of the poem, as Hardy describes the passing of a dear friend. In the second stanza, he muses about the possibility of an afterlife, where the friends might meet again. The third stanza is a bittersweet conclusion, where Hardy acknowledges the inevitability of death, but still finds comfort in the thought that their friendship will endure beyond it.
The poem opens with the line, "When I am dead, my dearest." This sets the melancholic tone of the poem from the onset. Hardy is addressing his friend directly, and the use of the word "dearest" shows the depth of their bond. He goes on to describe the world after his death, where his friend will no longer see him "nor hear my voice or take my hand." This is a poignant moment, as Hardy is acknowledging the finality of death. However, he also assures his friend that their separation is only temporary and that they will meet again "beyond the stars."
The second stanza is where Hardy explores the idea of an afterlife. He asks his friend to imagine a place "where we shall meet and never part." This is a beautiful sentiment, as it shows the depth of their bond. Hardy is suggesting that their friendship is not bound by the physical world but is a spiritual connection that transcends death. He goes on to describe this place as a "world unknown," where they will be free from the pain and suffering of the mortal world. This is a powerful image, as it is a common human desire to escape the trials of life.
In the third stanza, Hardy brings the poem full circle. He acknowledges that death is inevitable, and that their physical bodies will return to the earth. However, he finds comfort in the thought that their friendship will endure beyond death. He uses the metaphor of a "frosty night" to describe the inevitability of death, but also the beauty of the stars that shine in the darkness. This is a poignant moment, as it shows that even in the face of death, there is still beauty and hope.
"Friends Beyond" is a poem that celebrates the enduring power of friendship. Hardy acknowledges the finality of death but suggests that their bond is not bound by the physical world. He explores the idea of an afterlife, where they will meet again and be free from the pain and suffering of the mortal world. This is a powerful image, as it taps into a common human desire for transcendence.
Furthermore, the poem can be read as a commentary on the human condition. We are mortal beings, and our time on earth is finite. However, our connections with others can transcend death, and our memory can live on. Hardy suggests that the bonds we form with others are the most important aspect of our lives, and that they endure long after we are gone.
The poem is also a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet. His use of language and imagery is masterful, and he creates a world that is both beautiful and haunting. The rhyme scheme gives the poem a musical quality, and the repetition of the phrase "beyond the stars" creates a sense of continuity throughout the poem. Hardy's use of metaphor is also notable, as he uses the image of the stars to represent hope in the face of death.
"Friends Beyond" is a masterpiece of Thomas Hardy's poetic oeuvre. It celebrates the power of friendship and suggests that our connections with others can endure beyond death. The poem is a commentary on the human condition and taps into a common desire for transcendence. Hardy's use of language and imagery is masterful, and he creates a world that is both beautiful and haunting. Overall, "Friends Beyond" is a testament to Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the complexities of human experience through verse.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry has always been a medium of expression for the human soul. It is a way to convey emotions, thoughts, and ideas in a way that is both beautiful and profound. One such poem that captures the essence of friendship and the power of poetry is "Friends Beyond" by Thomas Hardy.
The poem is a tribute to the bond of friendship that transcends time and distance. It speaks of two friends who are separated by miles but are still connected through their love for poetry. The poem is a celebration of the power of poetry to bring people together and to keep them connected even when they are apart.
The poem begins with the speaker describing the two friends who are separated by "many a mile." Despite the distance between them, they are still connected through their love for poetry. The speaker describes how they "exchange their rhymes" and how their poetry is a way for them to stay connected.
The poem then goes on to describe the power of poetry to bring people together. The speaker describes how the two friends are able to share their thoughts and feelings through their poetry. They are able to express themselves in a way that is both beautiful and profound.
The poem also speaks to the idea that poetry is a way to transcend time. The two friends may be separated by miles, but their poetry allows them to connect across time and space. The speaker describes how their poetry will "outlast the clocks" and how it will continue to connect them even after they are gone.
The poem is also a celebration of the power of friendship. The two friends may be separated by miles, but their friendship is still strong. They are able to support each other through their poetry and to find comfort in each other's words.
The poem ends with the speaker describing how the two friends will one day be reunited. They will be able to meet in person and to share their poetry face to face. The poem is a beautiful tribute to the power of poetry and the strength of friendship.
In terms of form, the poem is written in quatrains with an ABAB rhyme scheme. The use of rhyme and meter gives the poem a musical quality that adds to its beauty. The poem is also written in a simple and straightforward style that makes it accessible to readers of all ages.
Overall, "Friends Beyond" is a beautiful tribute to the power of poetry and the strength of friendship. It speaks to the idea that poetry is a way to connect people across time and space and to the idea that friendship can endure even when people are separated by miles. The poem is a testament to the beauty and power of the written word and a reminder of the importance of human connection.
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