After telling of all the regrets he has, he metaphorically explains his life as a hill and he is at the peak looking back to the past. He sees it as a city A city in the twilight dim and vast, with smoking roofs, soft bells, and gleaming lights”. The way he explains the city seems very peaceful. The way he describes soft bells and gleaming lights doesn’t seem like a horrible place to be. This makes his look on his past questionable as if he sees the regret as something silly now, and he doesn’t still feel those feelings because his past was a good place.
Or in another view he could be seeing his past as boring and nothing really occurred. He describes it as night time with smoking roofs which could be perceived as a quiet place where nothing exciting happens. This could be how he sees his past life and why he regrets not having accomplished many things. At the end of the poem, Longfellow speaks of the future. He describes it strangely, And hear above me on the autumnal blast The cataract of Death far thundering from the heights. ” These lines are very open ended and in one way he could be speaking of death as far away by the way he describes the hindering waterfall very high up.
The reference to height could mean its at a good distance that he can see it, but its still far away. It could also mean he has more of his life to live up to and his regretful past doesn’t mean much to him anymore because he has his future to look forward to as he is on his metaphorical hill of life. In another view, he could be describing death as being right around the corner and him looking right at it when he describes the waterfall. You could kick at it as him having a life threatening disease and him knowing his death is coming soon, which could also describe the way he sews his past full of regret.