I'm trying to understand an excerpt from a poem — "Inspiration", by Henry David Thoreau (see below) — but there are two bits I can't quite get. The first confusing part is the verse "and in my day the sun doth pale his light".
Does "in my day" here roughly mean "now that I am (or when I become) acutely aware of reality", so not even the sun in all its effulgence shines as brightly? The second puzzle is the use of "they" in the line, "Farther behind than they, farther within".
I'm not sure what the pronoun "they" refers to. And the whole line itself seems kind of odd — although there's nothing abstruse about the words, the message is not crystal clear : (
Well, to be honest,there are other lines in the rest of the poem whose exact meanings are beyond me, but that's okay; I know poetry is not like math where everything can be accounted for in a step-by-step logical fashion.
Anyway, should anyone be interested in reading the poem in its entirety, see the link at the end of the post.
I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before;
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.
I hear beyond the range of sound,
I see beyond the range of sight,
New earths and skies and seas around,
And in my day the sun doth pale his light.
A clear and ancient harmony
Pierces my soul through all its din,
As through its utmost melody,—
Farther behind than they, farther within.
The full poem
Inspiration (H.D.Thoreau) http://www.the-poets.org/T/thoreau.htm#INSPIRATION_