During Wind And Rain by Thomas Hardy

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In the poem “During Wind and Rain” by Thomas Hardy, the writer talks about the consistency of the behaviour of society towards idea and events of death and describes the vital role of the expiration of time and society’s take on its effects on human lives.

During Wind And Rain

BY THOMAS HARDY

They sing their dearest songs–
He, she, all of them–yea,
Treble and tenor and bass.
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face….
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss–
Elders and juniors–aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat….
Ah, no; the years, the years;
See, the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all–
Men and maidens–yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee….
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ripped from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them–aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs….
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the raindrop plows.

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Analysis of Hardy’s “During Wind and Rain”

In the first stanza, he mentions how everyone is occupied with their own motives or routine work. “They sing their dearest songs” may refer to people’s will to follow their ambitions and then he suddenly exclaims “Ah no, the years, Oh!” suggesting how the years pass by too fast. Then he metaphorically points out how “sick leaves”, seemingly people at their deathbeds, pile up.

In the second stanza, he starts off by saying how formulated society is with the patterns of disposing of the dead and keeping it clean for society to go back to functioning according to their routine practices, making it comfortable for everyone to seamlessly mesh themselves with the regime. Yet again, Hardy notifies how the time passes quickly and even within the serene setting of daily activities, the cataclysmic storm approaching is inevitable, referring to the daunting events of death.

In the third stanza, Thomas talks about the leisurely activities such as vacationing that people tend to indulge in. Spending the summer at a beautiful beach, relaxing the senses would again come to an end with a mere disease that may be inflicted upon them, leading to a sad death. He points out that even then, the people of the society would be following their practice of cleanly disposing of the dead with their rituals and helping the living to move on with their lives.

In the fourth stanza, he shows a picture of a newly starting nuclear family, settling down in their houses with new furniture and grazing their lawns for leisure spent-time. However, Hardy’s tone again shifts to the inevitable truth of the end of life where he says that it would all come to a standstill like how the nameplates of the houses will soon be destroyed after death, leaving no signs of existence.

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