Hardy imagines his death and describes it through imagery from nature.
The flight of the hawk and his own death suggested though this
Suggests that he wants to be remembered as someone who cared about the natural world.
Imagined comments about him at this death - Hardy saying that he saw mysteries in nature - think about what mysteries his poems have explored.
When the present has latched its postern behind my
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
‘He was a man who used to notice such things'?
If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfell hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer might think,
‘To him this must have been a familiar sight.'
If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, ‘He strove that such innocent creatures
Should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone.'
If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
‘He was one who had an eye for such mysteries'?
And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, s they were a new bell's boom,
‘He hears it not now, but used to notice such things'?
Emphasis on time and imagine of a gate shutting suggests no going back. at the start of the poem.
Image of life shivering (it is not permanent)
Delicate imagery. compare with harsher images in some of his other poems.
. Hardy's life coming to an end compared with the swift...