The Poet expresses his bewilderment at the idea of time that this new world has embraced where the past rapidly melts into the present and the present into the future, as if in a foundry. Time no longer has its graceful movement that it possessed in nature, where one season would segue into the next. Now everything is either late or on time or too soon.Everything around has transformed into a raw material that needs to be inventoried, and appraised and used to build the structures of the new world that is fast replacing the old. The idea of the new world and its promises of prosperity seem nothing more than nightmares of a sordid boon to the author, where we are replacing what is precious and irreplaceable with all that is destructive and abhorrent to him. How can columns of smoke be a worthy replacement for the woodlands and hills that they are rapidly devouring? The sense of loss and the anguish that it elicits is most profound in these opening lines.
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