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Thomas Hardy 1840 (Stinsford) – 1928 (Dorchester, Dorset)

(E. L. G.)

  BENEATH a knap 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.

  Upon that fabric fair
  "Here is she!"
  Seems written everywhere
  Unto me.
  But to friends and nodding neighbors,
  Fellow wights in lot and labors,
  Who descry the times as I,
  No such lucid legend tells
  Where she dwells.

  Should I lapse to what I was
  In days by--
  (Such cannot be, but because
  Some loves die
  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.

  To feel I might have kissed--
  Loved as true--
  Otherwhere, nor Mine have missed
  My life through,
  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!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:04 min read

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was a Scottish Minister, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

All Thomas Hardy poems | Thomas Hardy Books

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