The diction and melancholic tone of the poem create a sad atmosphere found at the time of funeral ceremonies. The rhythmic lines of the poem make the readers feel the flow like that of a ‘whirlpool’. The readers drift in the waves of the poet’s words. Nearly towards the end of the poem, the speaker who seemed to engage in soliloquy finds a hearer; as he requests to his friend ‘I swear to you, my friend’ to ‘see my face in lamplight’ and that ‘good things’ would ‘make something sweet of fear’.
The speaker seems to sympathize with his friend to make him or her to get rid of fear of darkness, but the speaker’s request is more profound than it appears. The speaker’s friend is now dead as he says in ‘the steam room, inconsolable tears fall/against us’ and he wants to save his friend’s body ‘riding against death’ in the whirlpool. The speaker has lost his friend and he has lost his love, now he is left with regret and emptiness. He has been left alone with the memories of his love that remained ‘disclosed’. Now that he is alone he recalls what people used to say about love, ‘some say love, disclosed, repels what it sees’, but he has nothing in his hand except darkness which ‘touches’ him when he touches it.
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