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Quote #4

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

Everything becomes clear in these final lines. By asking this question, the speaker acknowledges that he knew nothing of love in his youth. The implication is that the speaker now understands his father’s love for and dedication to his family. Take that, youth! In this poem, wisdom (especially the emotional kind) comes with age.

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