The speaker recalls and imagines the peaceful lapping of little waves along the shoreline, which is a continuous sound there. Here it is only the surf on the larger ocean waves that can be heard.
He hears the birds singing in the near-by trees and feels the sun's warmth on his face. He is alone but doesn't feel lonely because he has an imagination that can create many more experiences than the real one. The poet has gone back in time to see what life was like nearly 200 years ago in a small town in India. He remembers how people used to work on the land and make a living by selling their products at markets nearby. They didn't have much technology available to help them with their chores or business. All they had was their own hard work and their faith in God.
We can imagine what it would have been like if we were alive back then. We would have been busy doing our best to survive after being forced off our family lands by the government officials who came to take possession of them. We would have had no choice but to go to cities like Calcutta (Kolkata today) and look for jobs. Many people could not find employment anywhere so they turned to crime to eat every day.
Even while standing on the streets and sidewalks of a city, he may hear the sounds of nature that permeate the air in Innisfree. He also hears the song of birds, which we humans can't see but believe exist because of their music.
In poetry, we call these kinds of images "sound pictures." The poet uses them to create feelings in his readers by making them think of what they are like to hear or see when reading his work. In this poem, Thomas Gray is doing this by describing something very peaceful to us now but which would have been familiar to his readers in the early 18th century, when it was written. They would have heard the sea gently rolling in upon the shores of England and Ireland, and seen birds singing in their trees. For him, writing about this scene made him feel happy too!
Have you ever tried to describe something you've seen or heard to someone who hasn't? Maybe you wanted to tell them about a beautiful place you visited, or an amazing event that happened. Even if they haven't seen or heard the thing itself, if you can get them into the right mental state, then they might feel what you felt when you saw it or heard it.
This is what poets do!
Ans. The poet is captivated by the smooth and soothing sound of the waves lapping on the coast, both day and night. In his mind, he hears this wonderful melody. This is what the poet hears.
"O What is that sound?" is a synopsis. In the morning, the speaker of the poem hears a sound down in the valley from his dwelling. This is a horn. The horn is played by someone who has been drinking wine. The drunkard is accompanied by another man named Vala. They are enemies of the speaker's family.
The speaker asks what the sound is. When he learns that it is a horn, he realizes that his wife and children have been killed by this man. On the headstone of the dead woman, her name is inscribed. She was married to the speaker.
After this tragedy, the speaker leaves his home with all his possessions and moves to a place where no one knows him. Here, he hopes to start a new life.
As far as I know, this poem is written in iambic pentameter. It is very difficult to say what kind of sound the horn makes because the poet doesn't describe it. Maybe a bell or a drum would be more appropriate instruments to use when trying to portray the sound of a horn. Any way you look at it, this poem is full of sadness and grief.