Thomas Hardy

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During Wind and Rain

 	They sing their dearest songs--
	He, she, all of them-- yea,
	Treble and tenor and bass,
	  And one to play;
	With the candles mooning each face. . . .
	  Ah, no; the years 0!
 How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

 	They clear the creeping moss--
	Elders and juniors-- aye,
	Making the pathways neat
	  And the garden gay;
	And they build a shady seat. . . .
	  Ah, no; the years, the years;
 See, the white storm-birds wing across!

 	They are blithely breakfasting all--
	Men and maidens-- yea,
	Under the summer tree,
	  With a glimpse of the bay,
	While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
	  Ah, no; the years O!
 And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

 	They change to a high new house,
	He, she, all of them-- aye,
	Clocks and carpets and chairs
	  On the lawn all day,
	And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
	  Ah, no; the years, the years;
 Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

When I set out for Lyonesse

 When I set out for Lyonnesse,
  A hundred miles away,
  The rime was on the spray,
 And starlight lit my lonesomeness
 When I set out for Lyonnesse
  A hundred miles away.

 What would bechance at Lyonnesse
  While I should sojourn there
  No prophet durst declare,
 Nor did the wisest wizard guess
 What would bechance at Lyonnesse
  While I should sojourn there.

 When I came back from Lyonnesse
  With magic in my eyes,
  All marked with mute surmise
 My radiance rare and fathomless,
 When I came back from Lyonnesse
  With magic in my eyes!


 When the Present has latched its postern behind my
   tremulous stay,
  And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like
 Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours
  "He was a man who used to notice such things"?

 If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless
  The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
 Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
  "To him this must have been a familiar sight."

 If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and
  When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
 One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures
   should come to no harm,
  But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

 If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they
   stand at the door,
  Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
 Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no
  "He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

 And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in
   the gloom,
  and a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
 Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
  "He hears it not now, but used to notice such

In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"

 Only a man harrowing clods
  In a slow silent walk
 With an old horse that stumbles and nods
  Half asleep as they stalk.

 Only thin smoke without flame
  From the heaps of couch-grass;
 Yet this will go onward the same
  Though Dynasties pass.

 Yonder a maid and her wight
  Come whispering by:
 War's annals will cloud into night
  Ere their story die.

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