"Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware...."
See in text (The Darkling Thrush)
Much of the poem’s beauty arises from the underlying mystery of the thrush. Though Hardy continually hints at a divine touch with words like “blessed,” he allows for a great deal of interpretation as to the source of the bird’s joy. Another mystery lies in the amount of hope the bird bears. While the bird’s song is “full-hearted” and “ecstatic,” Hardy’s speaker is tentative. After all, the thrush is “frail, gaunt, and small” and there appears “such little cause for carolings.” Ultimately, Hardy leaves these questions open to our interpretation. As modern readers, we are in the position to look back on Hardy’s mixed feelings of pessimism and optimism at the turn of the last century, and determine for ourselves whether the thrush has reason to be hopeful.
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