Thomas Hardy.

Wessex poems and other verses; Poems of the past and the present online

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MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITEU

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.

TORONTO






WESSEX POEMS AND

OTHER VERSES

POEMS OF THE PAST

AND THE PRESENT



BY

!v,-,^.H^.v.



MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON

i 90 8



QUA 8M3CH X3883W

stav



3HT fiO 8M3O4

3HT CIMA



Wessex Poems" : First Edition, Crown &vo, 1898. ^VifZf Edition 1903.
.F/V.^ /'oc/t^ Edition June 1907. Reprinted January 1908

" Poems, Past and Present " : First Edition 1901 (dated 1902)

Second Edition 1903. ^iVrf /'oc^vif Edition June 1907

Reprinted January 1908



;

M .T3



-
v aapdnow&J jrii



PREFACE TO WESSEX POEMS

OF the miscellaneous collection of verse
that follows, only four pieces have
been published, though many were written
long ago, and others partly written. In some
few cases the verses were turned into prose
and printed as such, it having been unantici-
pated at that time that they might see the
light.

Whenever an ancient and legitimate word
of the district, for which there was no equi-
valent in received English, suggested itself as
the most natural, nearest, and often only
expression of a thought, it has been made
use of, on what seemed good grounds.

The pieces are in a large degree dramatic v
or personative in conception ; and this even
where they are not obviously so.



VI PREFACE

The dates attached to some of the poems
do not apply to the rough sketches given in
illustration, which have been recently made,
and, as may be surmised, are inserted for.
personal and local reasons rather than for

their intrinsic qualities.

T. H.

September 1898.

-}f\1 T /^~"\.



PREFACE TO POEMS OF THE
PAST AND THE PRESENT

HEREWITH I tender my thanks to the
editors and proprietors of the Times,
the Morning Post, the Daily Chronicle, the
Westminster Gazette, Literature, the GrapJtic,
Cornhill, Sphere, and other papers, for per-
mission to reprint from their pages such of
the following pieces of verse as have already
been published.

Of the subject-matter of this volume which
is in other than narrative form, much is
dramatic or impersonative even where not
explicitly so. Moreover, that portion which



PREFACE Vll

may be regarded as individual comprises a
series of feelings and fancies written down
in widely differing moods and circumstances,
and at various dates. It will probably be
found, therefore, to possess little cohesion of
thought or harmony of colouring. I do not
greatly regret this. Unadjusted impressions
have their value, and the road to a true
philosophy of life seems to lie in humbly
recording diverse readings of its phenomena
as they are forced upon us by chance and

change.

T. H.

August 1901.



CONTENTS

WESSEX POEMS

PAGE

THE TEMPORARY THE ALL . rATo/:rcI I

AMABEL ''''.'"' : ; ^'Hosn-S'j ..- _ -sfTnV'-vv! 4

HAP ; ';i r:: '_; ^ 1;M - M I5vT2a r wTWoiiiraa 7

" IN VISION I ROAMED " 9

C. C . tjr

AT A BRIDAL '.'' ~ '-.' ' -fiKoyai aiivi rl

POSTPONEMENT . r(1 '. ' . . : A ^ j (3 - rj ( 13

A CONFESSION TO A FRIEND IN TROUBLE . 15

NEUTRAL TONES . < v g w ., r i? UHTV 3 - - 1 /. . 3J< 1 7

SHE ..':. oW ! 9

HER INITIALS ^, v , v , . . V^L-I 2I

HER DILEMMA , .,- viii yt'-) -u/ tin^o-y 2 3

REVULSION . . p . , -,, v , . .yiM ( <i T . ,,.> -twa- 2 7

SHE, TO HIM, I. . .. .. - Kw&wttu v*n\ 3 1

II. - 33

HI- 35

IV. . 37

DITTY ., . ..,....:,,*..., .-rv/- ^( 3 linsn v-^n r rt'^ 39

THE SERGEANT'S SONG . . y ^ % . ^^, 43

VALENCIENNES - r o * , . . r)I .y/'i*'- 45

SAN SEBASTIAN . .,,,, . i ,. .. ,, c , 51

THE STRANGER'S SONG ^ x ,' -. m*., ^.A^ 59



X CONTENTS

PAGE

THE BURGHERS . . . . . . 61

LEIPZIG ....... 67

THE PEASANT'S CONFESSION. ... 79

THE ALARM ..... .91

HER DEATH AND AFTER . .103

THE DANCE AT THE PHCF.NIX . . . 115

THE CASTERBRIDGE CAPTAINS . . . 125

A SIGN-SEEKER . . . . . .129

MY CICELY . . . . . . 133

HER IMMORTALITY . J A 3 . . ! 143
THE IVY-WIFE . . ... 147

A MEETING WITH DESPAIR . . . .149

UNKNOWING. . . . . . - 153

FRIENDS BEYOND . 1 . 1 5 5

To OUTER NATURE . -. . . -159

THOUGHTS OF PHENA . . . 163

MIDDLE-AGE ENTHUSIASMS '. .167

IN A WOOD . . '. v 169

To A LADY . . . . '. ' 173

To AN ORPHAN CHILD '. . .175

NATURE'S QUESTIONING '. '. .177

THE IMPERCIPIENT . 181

AT AN INN ... 187

THE SLOW NATURE . '. ,. 191

IN A EWELEAZE NEAR WEATHERBURY . . 195

THE FIRE AT TRANTER SWEATLEY'S . . 201

HEIRESS AND ARCHITECT . 211

THE Two MEN . 217

LINES . . . 223

"I LOOK INTO MY GLASS" . .227



CONTENTS XI



POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT

PAGE

V.R. 1819-1901 . . . . . 231

WAR POEMS

EMBARCATION . ". " . ' 235

_ 33X32 OMI.X3AJ

DEPARTURE ...... 237

oT
THE COLONEL'S SOLILOQUY . . ' . 239

^ _, uCI

THE GOING OF THE BATTERY . . 242

^

AT THE WAR OFFICE . 245

A CHRISTMAS GHOST-STORY . . . 247
THE DEAD DRUMMER . . . . . 249

. , _ 83H3VIHJJ0a

A WIFE IN LONDON . ,. . .251

^

THE SOULS OF THE SLAIN . 253

SONG OF THE SOLDIERS' WIVES . ' . 260
THE SICK GOD . . ' * . . ' . 263

3HT Yfl



POEMS OF PILGRIMAGE-

GENOA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN AMOT 269

SHELLEY'S SKYLARK , MCWI'-I .-8rfivxr 2 7 2

IN THE OLD THEATRE, FIESOLE . ^ u( 274

ROME : ON THE PALATINE . r ai>ixiJ oT 2 ?6
BUILDING A NEW STREET IN THE

ANCIENT QUARTER . . 278

THE VATICAN : SALA DELLE MUSE 280

AT THE PYRAMID OF CESTIUS . 283

LAUSANNE : IN GIBBON'S OLD GARDEN . 286

ZERMATT : To THE MATTERHORN . m;fl 288

THE BRIDGE OF LODI . i TA^HS vroH 1 290

ON AN INVITATION TO THE UNITED

STATES .&$Tt-t* IWA .jiixajooJ 295



Xll CONTENTS

MISCELLANEOUS POEMS

PAGE

THE MOTHER MOURNS .... 299

"I SAID TO LOVE" .... 305

A COMMONPLACE DAY . . , 307

AT A LUNAR ECLIPSE . . . . 310

THE LACKING SENSE . 312

. ; J

To LIFE . 316

DOOM AND SHE . . . .318

THE PROBLEM . . . 1 .321

THE SUBALTERNS . -323

~

THE SLEEP- WORKER 325

THE BULLFINCHES y . 327

GOD-FORGOTTEN . . . . ~ 329

'

THE BEDRIDDEN PEASANT TO AN UN-
KNOWING GOD . ,_ . 333
:
BY THE EARTH'S CORPSE . . 336

MUTE OPINION ... . 339

To AN UNBORN PAUPER CHILD . . 341

To FLOWERS FROM ITALY IN WINTER . 344

ON A FINE MORNING . T.a* . . 345

To LIZBIE BROWNE iA . l{ aH .T <Q : . 348

SONG OF HOPE . t A- sitfJi . 353

THE WELL-BELOVED . 3"<A .. . 354

HER REPROACH . . '^Y 3 . , 358

THE INCONSISTENT . . *A- . 360

A BROKEN APPOINTMENT . . . 362

"BETWEEN US NOW" .... 364

"HOW GREAT MY GRIEF" 1O.3. . . 366

" I NEED NOT GO " . . . . 367

THE COQUETTE, AND AFTER . . 369



CONTENTS Xlll

PAGE

A SPOT . ...... 371

LONG PLIGHTED . cuO nA : - 373
THE WIDOW . .. GVSAH -375
AT A HASTY WEDDING . . . - ua^ a'i 378
THE DREAM-FOLLOWER. gww ir*ofl i at 379
His IMMORTALITY. ,11 . . rr 380

THE TO-BE-FORGOTTEN . , ( . . . ( 382

WIVES IN THE SERE uiu-H-413 JUHO arT 3 8 5
THE SUPERSEDED . [ /, xvl TapJ aT 387
AN AUGUST MIDNIGHT . TWSHAJ r'aaa'J 389
THE CAGED THRUSH FREED AND HOME

AGAIN ...... 391

BIRDS AT WINTER NIGHTFALL [ ?^ OI ? / 393
THE PUZZLED GAME-BIRDS . tiq/B 394

WINTER IN DURNOVER FIELD :2u.iJOTA,j 39 -
THE LAST CHRYSANTHEMUM . [O ^ *& T *- 397
THE DARKLING THRUSH * , MCa ^. : *>Mo3 ^99
THE COMET AT YALBURY OR YELL'HAM 402
MAD JUDY- ^9 ^ qA J M ' ?^l IM ?^ JAMIMAO 403
A WASTED ILLNESS . ^ ^ (1 ,405

A MAN . 408

,"aaAH8 HTIV/ aaviJ CIVAH I"
THE DAME OF ATHELHALL . . .,412



THE SEASONS OF HER YEAR. . 416

iftTZX'JA'
THE MILKMAID . . . .418

THE LEVELLED CHURCHYARD . . 420

THE RUINED MAID .... 422
THE RESPECTABLE BURGHER ON "THE

HIGHER CRITICISM" . . . 425

ARCHITECTURAL MASKS .... 428

THE TENANT-FOR-LIFE . 430



XIV CONTENTS

PAGE

THE KING'S EXPERIMENT . . . 432

THE TREE: AN OLD MAN'S STORY . 435

HER LATE HUSBAND .... 439

THE SELF-UNSEEING . . .441

DE PROFUNDIS I. . . 443

II. . 445

III. 448

THE CHURCH-BUILDER . . . .451

THE LOST PYX: A MEDIEVAL LEGEND 457

TESS'S LAMENT 462

THE SUPPLANTER : A TALE . .465

IMITATIONS, ETC.

SAPPHIC FRAGMENT . . . -473

CATULLUS: xxxi^ . . . ri ,. . 474

AFTER SCHILLER, , riH . . . 476

SONG: FROM HEINE .^ HT OKl , . 477

FROM VICTOR HUGO . IMO Q . 479

CARDINAL BEMBO'S EPITAPH ON RAPHAEL 480

RETROSPECT

"I HAVE LIVED WITH SHADES" . k *. ^ 483

MEMORY AND I . . _.,- 486

. ' 489



WESSEX POEMS









//'.'-




THE TEMPORARY THE ALL
/m dvl .norlT"

CHANGE and chancefulness in my
flowering youthtime,

Set me sun by sun near to one unchosen ;
Wrought us fellow-like, and despite divergence,

Friends interlinked us.

A



2 THE TEMPORARY THE ALL

"Cherish him can I while the true one forth-
come

Come the rich fulfiller of my prevision ;
Life is roomy yet, and the odds unbounded."
So self-communed I.

Thwart my wistful way did a damsel saunter,
Fair, the while unformed to be all-eclipsing ;
" Maiden meet," held I, " till arise my forefelt
Wonder of women."

Long a visioned hermitage deep desiring,
Tenements uncouth I was fain to house in ;
" Let such lodging be for a breath-while,"
thought I,

" Soon a more seemly.

i YHAHOIMHT HUT
"Then, high handiwork will I make my life-
deed,
Truth and Light outshow ; but the ripe time

pending,

Intermissive aim at the thing ' sufficeth/fyuoi
Thus I . . But lo, me !



THE TEMPORARY THE ALL 3

Mistress, friend, place, aims to be bettered
straightway,

Bettered not has Fate or my hand's achieving ;

Sole the showance those of my onward earth-
track-

Never transcended !



IHHAM

iut hb



,gy/3v







1O



I





AMABEL

I MARKED her ruined hues,
Her custom-straitened views,
And asked, " Can there indwell
My Amabel?"



I looked upon her gown,
Once rose, now earthen brown ;
The Change was like the knell
Of Amabel.



AMABEL

Her step's mechanic ways>! ittc
Had lost the life of May's ; bnA
Her laugh, once sweet in swell,
Spoilt Amabel. A Q

I mused : " Who sings the strain
I sang ere warmth did wane ?
Who thinks its numbers spell
His Amabel ?"

Knowing that, though Love cease,
Love's race shows undecrease ;
All find in dorp or dell
An Amabel.

I felt that I could creep
To some housetop, and weep,
That Time the tyrant fell
Ruled Amabel !

I said (the while I sighed
That love like ours had died),
" Fond things I'll no more tell
To Amabel,



AMABEL

" But leave her to her fate,'te lal
And fling across the gate,
'Till the Last Trump, farewell,

O Amabel ! ' "



1865.



/ bib r

.






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*j nv/oe 13V9 sc|Ofl *3d arlt Hfrioolrlm; '{rlw bn/.
,ni-i bnn nnaadJ atomiecfo



brrt <

ifiq af, 3gKmhgliq yrn






HAP

IF but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh : "Thou suf-
fering thing,

Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting ! "

Then would I bear, and clench myself, and

die,

Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited ;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.



8



HAP



But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown ?
Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
These purblind Doomsters had as readily

strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

1866.






!v r?T



:ffiH



brtA

<iB3n slaw LTO-{ IB rit aeonJuMnj.: ./siO

:o ornoa no )38 ,rmd avsri irl^ini oriW



yl Jniit Hi; grihfionu ,sifiWnfJ bavil I
bri rnntbjj)



"IN VISION I ROAMED"



IN vision I roamed the flashing Firmament,
So fierce in blazon that the Night waxed wan,
As though with an awed sense of such ostent ;
And as I thought my spirit ranged on and on

In footless traverse through ghast heights of sky,
To the last chambers of the monstrous Dome,
Where stars the brightest here to darkness die :
Then, any spot on our own Earth seemed
Home !



IO "IN VISION I ROAMED

And the sick grief that you were far away
Grew pleasant thankfulness that you were near,
Who might have been, set on some outstep

sphere,

Less than a Want to me, as day by day
I lived unware, uncaring all that lay
Locked in that Universe taciturn and drear.

1866.






fit ti;rll

bay/ ru; rffriv/ tyi.i<:>:-
nil Jrhmorf} I >-; bnA,



tej;I '3f!l oT
.ihd srli e*inte '/t'iflW



,wor) noiJjernEOfii aariariw 3fiiG tetnO arlt oT
nalblirto barioqiuq-rlp.irt 3orll vrlY/
t>rlt: hifiT S



iloun fh; ^DJST atli )I



AT A BRIDAL

TO -

WHEN you paced forth, to wait mater-
nity,

A dream of other offspring held my mind,
Compounded of us twain as Love designed ;
Rare forms, that corporate now will never be !

Should I, too, wed as slave to Mode's decree,
And each thus found apart, of false desire,
A stolid line, whom no high aims will fire
As had fired ours could ever have mingled we ;



12 AT A BRIDAL

And, grieved that lives so matched should mis-
compose,
Each mourn the double waste ; and question

dare

To the Great Dame whence incarnation flows,
Why those high-purposed children never were :
What will she answer ? That she does not

care
If the race all such sovereign types unknows.



1866.






Miim vin b

:$f> 9VO



'l-\b'9llft-ic^l >>



I foi;d
nc ol'
bri byj bcrf -



POSTPONEMENT

SNOW-BOUND in woodland, a mournful
word,
Dropt now and then from the bill of a

bird,

Reached me on wind-wafts ; and thus I heard,
Wearily waiting :

" I planned her a nest in a leafless tree,
But the passers eyed and twitted me,
And said : ' How reckless a bird is he,

Cheerily mating ! '

13



14 POSTPONEMENT

" Fear-filled, I stayed me till summer-tide,
In lewth of leaves to throne her bride ;
But alas ! her love for me waned and died,
Wearily waiting.

" Ah, had I been like some I see,
Born to an evergreen nesting-tree,
None had eyed and twitted me,
Cheerily mating ! "

1866.

8



y.7 in u/l JOB.- /JO'/.
,Lnow
mo-rt md* hrir, v/on



writ brt < BJk7/-5ni



K tit teon K ii>d foannrJq I
,t>rrr ba. 1 ' fyjyo eiaagEq ^rfi iu



'
....



vir

rifiooi/d 10 biid Aiuin e>/lil ,bo Jl



,rm;in tjr no
jyfttuo y^jtifn ut ^

jrl inarn^bot b^ri toi) JoniJani '(ImssHnu aHT
^TjJJid nj;-> ,blo sbjjimoo ,taY
rj^ ,b;>nni;d rf^no/H ,)ci{J
! 9iH ni



A CONFESSION TO A FRIEND
IN TROUBLE

YOUR troubles shrink not, though I feel
them less

Here, far away, than when I tarried near ;
I even smile old smiles with listlessness
Yet smiles they are, not ghastly mockeries mere.

A thought too strange to house within my brain
Haunting its outer precincts I discern :
That I will not show zeal again to learn

Yottr griefs, and, sharing them, renew my pain. . . .
s



l6 CONFESSION TO A FRIEND IN TROUBLE

It goes, like murky bird or buccaneer
That shapes its lawless figure on the main,
And each new impulse tends to make outflee
The unseemly instinct that had lodgment here;
Yet, comrade old, can bitterer knowledge be
Than that, though banned, such instinct was
in me !

1866.

A OT MOI383TOOD A
latJOHT VII



.'jorfi ,*on jtni-nte Kafduo-ri HUO\JT

msrfi



a*'-: I rfliv/ 9lfm bfo stints nova I

ltefci - i: vytf) ?.3li



Yfif nifiti r f o> a^ninta oot tflgnoriJ A

[ lijJno ?ii gnttnofiH

^t\i V> \\Vis \ ^a^T



8i


-



orrr ot boqcrl* ovBfl ,p/ioT/y fliiw fi^nnv/ bnA
; bm: ,



^ Htiv/ bagba bnoq j; bnA
NEUTRAL TONES



WE stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though

chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,

They had fallen from an ash, and
were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago ;
And some words played between us to and
fro-

On which lost the more by our love.



l8 NEUTRAL TONES

The smile on your mouth was the deadest

thing

Alive enough to have strength to die ;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby

Like an ominous bird a-wing. . . .

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,

And a pond edged with grayish leaves.
[AHTUaVI

1867.

[ K -^d boote
HUB 9r(t bn/

. >frib

> Vi 9V9l Yi

bj;/f '{orfT








SHE

AT HIS FUNERAL

THEY bear him to his resting-place-
In slow procession sweeping by ;
I follow at a stranger's space ;
His kindred they, his sweetheart I.
Unchanged my gown of garish dye,
Though sable-sad is their attire ;
But they stand round with griefiess eye,
Whilst my regret consumes like fire !



187-.



3H8

; KI



.teal -Aid ol rnirf insd YaHTTF 1
/ noi28330iq wola al JL










HER INITIALS

UPON a poet's page I wrote
Of old two letters of her name ;
Part seemed she of the effulgent thought
Whence that high singer's rapture came.
When now I turn the leaf the same
Immortal light illumes the lay,
But from the letters of her name
The radiance has died away !



1869.









'U






)o site bourse i

arnr. .iri Jfirfi

amen ; I won

t Y^I 9(i hornml

iarf lo 8it)i)I silt moi^ JuH

I 9ftT







HER DILEMMA

(IN CHURCH)



THE two were silent in a sunless church,
Whose mildewed walls, uneven paving-
stones,

And wasted carvings passed antique research ;
And nothing broke the clock's dull mono-
tones.

Leaning against a wormy poppy-head,
So wan and worn that he could scarcely
stand,



24 HER DILEMMA

For he was soon to die, he softly said,
" Tell me you love me ! " holding hard her
hand.

She would have given a world to breathe

" yes " truly,
So much his life seemed hanging on her

mind,
And hence she lied, her heart persuaded

throughly

'Twas worth her soul to be a moment kind.

.

But the sad need thereof, his Hearing death,

So mocked humanity that she shamed to prize



A world conditioned thus, or care for breath

Where Nature such dilemmas could devise.

,

' n

1866.

' bnA



!Ot

rrtOV/ I, ,-;3 J

blUQO : flKV/- o%

,bni



)b

iOfl

K Jj;



REVULSION

THOUGH I waste watches framing words
to fetter

Some spirit to mine own in clasp and kiss,
Out of the night there looms a sense 'twere

better
To fail obtaining whom one fails to miss.

For winning love we win the risk of losing,
And losing love is as one's life were riven ;
It cuts like contumely and keen ill-using

To cede what was superfluously given.

27



28 REVULSION

Let me then feel no more the fateful thrilling

That devastates the love-worn wooer's frame,

The hot ado of fevered hopes, the chilling

That agonizes disappointed aim !

So may I live no junctive law fulfilling,

And my heart's table bear no woman's name.

1866.









T



:

iuO



.

grtrfcoi baA

;)noo' a>fil tuo tl

\k ear// Jurfw aboo oT



'



Iuo ym ni sin niwon>I
.<\< oi ^ib blupw.orfw
>; I>[o oi Jrunvj ion no^
ridijbnsii) lo IHIUI!'



SHE, TO HIM



WHEN you shall see me in the toils of
Time,

My lauded beauties carried off from me,
My eyes no longer stars as in their prime,
My name forgot of Maiden Fair and Free ;

When in your being heart concedes to mind,
And judgment, though you scarce its process

know,
Recalls the excellencies I once enshrined,

And you are irked that they have withered so :

31



32 SHE, TO HIM

Remembering that with me lies not the blame,
That Sportsman Time but rears his brood to

kill,

Knowing me in my soul the very same
One who would die to spare you touch of ill !
Will you not grant to old affection's claim
The hand of friendship down Life's sunless

hill ?

1866.









. 3'tc ijoy



il



if Jlcma ov/i ni ,irlnofft nirl)



orri ot Jrfgrjorlt-mohiEflq ^niteaft rfoua on
iuv/ iiuq vrn nb-iorlw D^iJ olorl'// arfi



^rrt fr/Dfl ^li hi/rw; no*( briA
,ad o) Hi3i9r! Jr/d 'iuo'( ni I ac hf^notlT A

.dd8 1

SHE, TO HIM

II

PERHAPS, long hence, when I have
passed away,

Some other's feature, accent, thought like mine,
Will carry you back to what I used to say,
And bring some memory of your love's decline.

; -' ''- } riiiht eve 1 ' >n;;j<r that -i>>t (ioor
Then you may pause awhile and think, " Poor

jade ! "

And yield a sigh to me as ample due,
Not as the tittle of a debt unpaid
To one who could resign her all to you



34 SHE T HIM

And thus reflecting, you will never see

That your thin thought, in two small words

conveyed,

Was no such fleeting phantom-thought to me,
But the Whole Life wherein my part was

played ;

And you amid its fitful masquerade
A Thought as I in yours but seem to be.

1866.






>0 T /i

'



jntoq >>ti j! c'-> terli fjftfiv e ec drriul/I

m bsagbl tcrfJ hniv/ srli oJ oriiT

refl.) bfnow otiv; v/oK to ^Iuo ^I b'JHiffe'jQ



fio

rno-i) bnirn



i>tiup surf lo KbitiTjtxob f)lo yM
.rioqu vlool ot ovoJ 'io"t Jlai gnidtori bnA

SHE, TO HIM

III

I WILL be faithful to thee ; aye, I will !
And Death shall choose me with a won-

dering eye

That he did not discern and domicile
One his by right ever since that last Good-bye !

I have no care for friends, or kin, or prime
Of manhood who deal gently with me here ;
Amid the happy people of my time
Who work their love's fulfilment, I appear

35



36 SHE, TO HIM

Numb as a vane that cankers on its point,

True to the wind that kissed ere canker came;

Despised by souls of Now, who would dis-
joint

The mind from memory, and make Life all
aim,

My old dexterities of hue quite gone,
And nothing left for Love to look upon.



1866.

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ns gu am t>ififl nod) nodi
oshq vf-iKyb Oc; I Ji:dw ba^yyinu 39

i svowl ,ynO tr-.oJ ,9/11
8 ni fiKoni ii auila ir



SHE, TO HIM

IV

THIS love puts all humanity from me ;
I can but maledict her, pray her dead,
For giving love and getting love of thee
Feeding a heart that else mine own had fed !

How much I love I know not, life not known,
Save as some unit I would add love by ;
But this I know, my being is but thine

own
Fused from its separateness by ecstasy.

37



38 SHE, TO HIM

And thus I grasp thy amplitudes, of her
Ungrasped, though helped by nigh-regarding

eyes ;

Canst thou then hate me as an envier
Who see unrecked what I so dearly prize ?
Believe me, Lost One, Love is lovelier
The more it shapes its moan in selfish-wise.

1866.



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DITTY

oanRDod. Jj;d -xl ioa HBD

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BENEATH a kqap where flown
Nestlings play,
Within walls of weathered stone,

Far away

From the files of formal houses,
By the bough the firstling browses,
Lives a Sweet : no merchants meet,
No man barters, no man sells
Where she dwells.



4O DITTY

Upon that fabric fair

" Here is she ! "
Seems written everywhere

Unto me.

But to friends and nodding neighbours,
Fellow-wights in lot and labours,
Who descry the times as I,
No such lucid legend tells

Where she dwells.

Should I lapse to what I was

Ere we met ;
(Such can not be, but because

Some forget

Let me feign it) none would notice
That where she I know by rote is
Spread a strange and withering change,
Like a drying of the wells

Where she dwells,
^aeuorf I^rmoi lo aofft artt root^

To feel I might have kissed-rrwf yitt -{H

Loved as true
Otherwhere, nor Mine have missed O T /I

My life through,



DITTY 4!

Had I never wandered near her,
Is a smart severe severer
In the thought that she is nought,
Even as I, beyond the dells
Where she dwells.

And Devotion droops her glance

To recall
What bond-servants of Chance

We are all.

I but found her in that, going
On my errant path unknowing,
I did not out-skirt the spot
That no spot on earth excels,

Where she dwells !

1870.



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J



THE SERGEANTS SONG

; vl^lxmi ftto'ii Ivr// i nbv/ abiiil/t bnA

nwob '



WHEN Lawyers strive to heal a breach,
And Parsons practise what they
!ol-Iol .muioi-rnuDmoH
preach ;

Then Little Boney he'll pounce down,
And march his men on London town !
Rollicum-rorum, tol-lol-lorum,
Rollicimi-rorum, tol-lol-lay !

When Justices hold equal scales,
And Rogues are only found in jails ;



44 THE SERGEANT'S SONG

Then Little Boney he'll pounce down,


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Online LibraryThomas HardyWessex poems and other verses; Poems of the past and the present → online text (page 1 of 10)