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The poem develops from images of late afternoon to those of night. The sunlight shines through “chinks” in the barn walls, moving upward on bales of hay as sunset develops. The cricket takes up its chattering song, and the fox returns “to its sandy den.” The images are connected by the time sequence of day to night and also by the references to the regularity of human activity, including the implication in the last stanza that death, too, is as natural as the setting of the sun. The quotation of John 13:18 leads naturally to the double meaning of the final repetition of the phrase “let evening come,” and we recognize that evening will come to end breath and life just as it comes to end each day. There is a regularity about the poem that suggests acceptance and affirmation.
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