In the poem "Night Voices," the speaker, a child, addresses their father, expressing curiosity and unease about the mysterious sounds and sensations that surround them during the night. The child seeks answers from their father, who attempts to rationalize the eerie phenomena.
The poem opens with the child questioning the source of the whispering sounds in the woods, suggesting that someone or something is communicating in hushed tones. The father reassures the child, attributing the sounds to the gentle breeze rustling through the trees.
The child's curiosity persists as they inquire about the murmuring that permeates the night. The father once again tries to pacify their concerns, explaining that it is merely the sound of waves crashing upon the shore. However, the child senses a presence beyond natural elements, someone who murmurs in the darkness.
The child's unease escalates when they hear laughter echoing from the glen, a chuckle that seems directed at them. They implore their father to leave, feeling vulnerable and frightened by the unseen figure that mocks them. The child's fear intensifies as they perceive their father's strange behaviour, his unwavering gaze fixed upon the door despite the lateness of the hour.
The poem concludes with the child pleading for answers, questioning their father's demeanour and the reason for his unwavering vigilance. The room is dark, and the father remains silent, his eerie smile and steadfastness evoking a sense of foreboding.
"Night Voices" explores the theme of the unknown and the anxieties that can arise from inexplicable phenomena. The poem delves into the vulnerability of a child seeking reassurance from a trusted figure in the face of unsettling experiences. Through its evocative language and imagery, the poem creates an atmosphere of mystery and suspense, leaving the reader with lingering questions about the nature of the voices and the father's peculiar behaviour.