A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Thomas Hardy

"The Second Night"

I missed one night, but the next I went;
       &nbsp It was gusty above, and clear;
She was there, with the look of one ill-content,
       &nbsp And said: “Do not come near!”

- “I am sorry last night to have failed you here,
       &nbsp And now I have travelled all day;
And it’s long rowing back to the West-Hoe Pier,
       &nbsp So brief must be my stay.”

- “O man of mystery, why not say
       &nbsp Out plain to me all you mean?
Why you missed last night, and must now away
       &nbsp Is - another has come between!”

- “ O woman so mocking in mood and mien,
       &nbsp So be it!” I replied:
“And if I am due at a differing scene
       &nbsp Before the dark has died,

“’Tis that, unresting, to wander wide
       &nbsp Has ever been my plight,
And at least I have met you at Cremyll side
       &nbsp If not last eve, to-night.”

- “You get small rest - that read I quite;
       &nbsp And so do I, maybe;
Though there’s a rest hid safe from sight
       &nbsp Elsewhere awaiting me!”

A mad star crossed the sky to the sea,
       &nbsp Wasting in sparks as it streamed,
And when I looked to where stood she
       &nbsp She had changed, much changed, it seemed:

The sparks of the star in her pupils gleamed,
       &nbsp She was vague as a vapour now,
And ere of its meaning I had dreamed
       &nbsp She’d vanished - I knew not how.

I stood on, long; each cliff-top bough,
       &nbsp Like a cynic nodding there,
Moved up and down, though no man’s brow
       &nbsp But mine met the wayward air.

Still stood I, wholly unaware
       &nbsp Of what had come to pass,
Or had brought the secret of my new Fair
       &nbsp To my old Love, alas!

I went down then by crag and grass
       &nbsp To the boat wherein I had come.
Said the man with the oars: “This news of the lass
       &nbsp Of Edgc*mbe, is sharp for some!

“Yes: found this daybreak, stiff and numb
       &nbsp On the shore here, whither she’d sped
To meet her lover last night in the glum,
       &nbsp And he came not, ‘tis said.

“And she leapt down, heart-hit. Pity she’s dead:
       &nbsp So much for the faithful-bent!” . . .
I looked, and again a star overhead
       &nbsp Shot through the firmament.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #


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