by Thomas Hardy
The Voice Death Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Line)
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me, (1)
In the first line of the poem, we're not sure that the woman is even dead—after all, she's calling to the speaker. Can dead people call out? And call out insistently? We don't have any experience with ghosts, so we'll leave this one to you.
Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown! (5-8)
These lines break our hearts a little, as the speaker tries to visualize the dead beloved woman. He remembers her in an "air-blue gown," which makes her particularly ghostly. We hate to break it to you, speaker: this chick ain't gonna reappear in a blue dress.
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near? (11-12)
Again, breaking Shmoopy hearts. The woman is "dissolved," never to be heard from again. What a desperate image; we can totally see her fading away into thin air. The speaker sounds like he's giving up in these lines, like he's now sure that the woman is gone, never to return.