In the third stanza the poet reminisces about how much the man who died meant to him. It is a beautifully evocative section that illustrates the bond between the two; note the theme of completeness in the language, which covers all four primary compass directions and all seven days of the week. Similarly, “noon” and “midnight” together cover, by synecdoche (parts standing for the whole), all hours of the day. The stanza, at the same time, reveals the tragedy of human life, which is that everyone must die and that almost everyone will experience being severed from a loved one; love does not, after all, last forever in this world.
Yet even though Frost’s poetry is simple and clear, Richard Wilbur points out that it is not written in the colloquial language of an uneducated farm boy, but rather in “a beautifully refined and charged colloquial language.” In other words, Frost’s ability to express such a depth of feeling in each of his poems through the medium of colloquial speech reveals a far greater grasp of the human language than many of his critics would admit. It is because of the clarity of his poetry that his poems are beloved and studied in high schools throughout the United States, and it is also because of this clarity that Frost is able to explore topics of emotion, struggle, and conflict that would be incomprehensible in any other form.