Question: Bring out the irony in the poem.
Ans: The poet’s description of his beloved as having ‘no motion or force’ and she is ‘revolving with the earth around the sun’ actually implies that she is dead and the poet cannot be with her. This is also because the poet, unlike his beloved, was always alienated from nature. This mismatch between what is said and what is meant is an example of irony. The poet’s opinion that it was because of ‘the slumber’ which ‘sealed’ his spirit that he felt that his beloved was ‘untouched’ by earthly things like mortality is ironic because it is not really the slumber, but his desire that his beloved should not be touched by death as he loves her deeply, that has made him blind to the fact that she is dead.