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No Men Are Foreign

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Death is personified as a gentleman caller or suitor. Thomas H. Johnson calls him "one of the great characters of literature." But exactly what kind of person is he?
Is Death a kind, polite suitor? The speaker refers to his "kindness" and "civility." He drives her slowly; is this an expression of tact and consideration for her? If he is the courteous suitor, then Immortality, who is also in the carriage (or hearse) would be their chaperon, a silent one.
Is Death actually a betrayer, and is his courtly manner an illusion to seduce her? Because of his kindness in stopping for her, she agrees to go with him ("put away / My labor and my leisure too"). Is Death really cruel? She is not properly dressed for their journey; she is wearing only a gossamer gown and tulle tippet (gossamer: very light, thin cloth; tulle: a thin, fine netting used for veils, scarfs, etc.; tippet: covering for the shoulders). Is Immortality really an accomplice to Death's deception?
The drive symbolizes her leaving life. She progresses from childhood, maturity (the "gazing grain" is ripe) and the setting (dying) sun to her grave. The children are presented as active in their leisure ("strove"). The images of children and grain suggest futurity, that is, they have a future; they also depict the progress of human life. Is thereirony in the contrast between her passivity and inactivity in the coach and their energetic activity?
The word "passed" is repeated four times in stanzas three and four. They are "passing" by the children and grain, both still part of life. They are also "passing" out of time into eternity. The sun passes them as the sun does everyone who is buried. With the sun setting, it becomes dark, in contrast to the light of the preceding stanzas. It also becomes damp and cold ("dew grew quivering and chill"), in contrast to the warmth of the preceding stanza. Also the activity of...

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