How we cite our quotes:
The skies they were ashen and sober; (line 1)
Things sure don't start out on a happy note, do they? From the word go, everything in this poem seems sad, even the sky. We especially like the word "ashen." Can't you just see the sort of dismal, grayish misty night surrounding the speaker? It's easy to imagine how this could make his already miserable mood even worse.
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies, (lines 42-3)
These lines are literally dripping with sadness. The speaker imagines the goddess Astarte looking down on this world of death and misery, and taking pity on him. The image of cheeks covered with endless tears is powerful and definitely super sad. In this poem, like in a lot of Poe's poetry, human emotions have a way of taking over the entire world. It's not just that the speaker is sad; he is also living in a world of sadness. Actually, maybe that would make a good trailer for a movie about this poem: (Announcer Voice) "In a world of sadness, one man must find the tomb of his lost love…"
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust. (lines 58-60)
Poor Psyche! She seems really bummed here. Actually, she seems like the portrait of sadness. That little bit about her angel-wings trailing in the dust especially gets us down. Don't you kind of want to give her a hug?