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The widower in the foreground looks up as he thinks for a moment that he hears his late wife's voice as his daughter, whom he cannot see, begins to sing. The picture was exhibited with lines from Tennyson's poem Break, break, break:

But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand/ And the sound of a voice that is still.

The poetic quote underscores the deeply sentimental nature of this painting.

August 2004