(c.1910-1915)

Thomas Hardy
(*2. Juni 1840 Higher Bockhampton bei Dorchester, Dorset - †11. Januar 1928 Dorchester, Dorset)
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"Who holds that if way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst"


Let him to whose ears the low-voiced Best seems stilled by the clash of the First,
Who holds that if way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst,
Who feels that delight is a delicate growth cramped by crookedness, custom, and fear,
Get him up and be gone as one shaped awry; he disturbs the order here.
"In Tenebris", lines 37-40, from Poems of the Past and Present (1901)

DE PROFUNDIS I

“Percussus sum sicut foenum, et aruit cor meum.”

Ps. ci

   Wintertime nighs;
But my bereavement-pain
It cannot bring again:
  Twice no one dies.

   Flower-petals flee;
But, since it once hath been,
No more that severing scene
  Can harrow me.

   Birds faint in dread:
I shall not lose old strength
In the lone frost’s black length:
  Strength long since fled!

   Leaves freeze to dun;
But friends can not turn cold
This season as of old
  For him with none.

   Tempests may scath;
But love can not make smart
Again this year his heart
  Who no heart hath.

   Black is night’s cope;
But death will not appal
One who, past doubtings all,
  Waits in unhope.