| Quote #4
[…] There I heard nothing
The speaker's focus on these birds shows just how desperate he is for companionship. Even though those birdsongs are a poor substitute for the laughter of men, he's willing to listen because that's pretty much all there is to hear.
| Quote #5
[…] Storms there beat the stony cliffs,
These bird cries aren't the wistful sounds they were in lines 17-22. Now they indicate the struggle for life of both tern and eagle as the eagle seeks to make a meal of the smaller bird.
| Quote #6
The shadows of night darkened, it snowed from the north,
It's getting downright nasty out there. This description of worsening winter weather occurs just before the speaker launches into a description about how he feels troubled. So maybe, just maybe, the arrival of the storm signals the arrival of another storm inside our speaker. The weather acts as a barometer of what he's feeling.