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by Thomas Hardy

Stanza 4 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 13-14

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,

  • Another stanza opening with that hypothetical "if" construction!
  • Now the speaker imagines that his friends and neighbors will hear about his death while standing in an open doorway, looking up at the night sky. (Except that it's a "winter" sky – they probably shouldn't be standing with the door open.)

Lines 15-16

Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

  • The speaker wonders whether the night sky will inspire his friends to remember him as someone who loved stargazing.
  • This stanza, like stanzas 1 and 5, is constructed as a question.

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