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Quote #4

What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices? (13-14)

Shmoop confession time: this line breaks our hearts. Here, the speaker acknowledges that he, as a child, knew nothing about the expression of love—how love can be expressed through actions, and not through words. His father’s intense devotion—waking up super early, working hard every day of the week, lighting all the fires—is something that he can only appreciate now. Even though his father’s love was there all along. Tragic. (But hey, better late than never, Shmoop says.)

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