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The predominant images in the octave are those of sound. Lines 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8 refer to sounds of peace, while 2, 3, and 7 displace these peaceful sounds with sounds of war. Thus the “passing-bells” are not bells but gunfire, and the prayers (“orisons”) are made up of rapidly rattling rifles. In line 8, the sound of bugles from “sad shires” suggests the solemnity of military burials. In the last six lines the images are primarily visual—candles, shining eyes, pale brows, flowers, and the repeated drawing of window shades. It is as though a cease-fire calm had descended.
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