How can I paraphrase the second and third stanza of "The Darkling Thrush"?

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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The original title of the poem, written in 1900, was "By the Century's Deathbed." Thus the reference to "The Century's corpse" in stanza 2:

It was a cold, bleak winter day. And a cold and bleak time for the poet, too. The earth looked featureless and desolate as if entombed by the grey clouds above. The wind sang a sad and mournful song. Everything seemed dead and buried, no sign of life was stirring. And the poet was like that too: listless and lifeless.

In stanza 3, somewhere in the dark forest a sound was heard. It was a happy sound seemingly out of nowhere and surely unexpected. An old thrush began to sing in spite of the wind and cold. An act of hope, a call to better things perhaps, was heard in the distance.