Thinking about the Poem
1. “A slumber did my spirit seal,” says the poet. That is, a deep sleep ‘closed off’ his soul (or mind). How does the poet react to his loved one’s death? Does he feel bitter grief? Or does he feel a great peace?
The poet is in a state of deep shock. The death of the loved child has given him deep grief. But there is a sense of relief also. The child is now beyond any earthly fears. She has become a part of the whole cosmos.
2. The passing of time will no longer affect her, says the poet. Which lines of the poem say this?
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
3. How does the poet imagine her to be, after death? Does he think of her as a person living in a very happy state (a ‘heaven’)? Or does he see her now as a part of nature? In which lines of the poem do you find your answer?
The poet thinks that she is now a part of nature. After her death, he imagines her buried inside the earth with other rocks, stones, and trees and rolling around with the earth in its daily rotation. The following lines express this idea-
She neither hears nor sees,
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks and stones and trees.