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 whitewashed wall"

Why does she turn in that shy soft way
       &nbsp Whenever she stirs the fire,
And kiss to the chimney-corner wall,
       &nbsp As if entranced to admire
Its whitewashed bareness more than the sight
       &nbsp Of a rose in richest green?
I have known her long, but this raptured rite
       &nbsp I never before have seen.

- Well, once when her son cast his shadow there,
       &nbsp A friend took a pencil and drew him
Upon that flame-lit wall. And the lines
       &nbsp Had a lifelike semblance to him.
And there long stayed his familiar look;
       &nbsp But one day, ere she knew,
The whitener came to cleanse the nook,
       &nbsp And covered the face from view.

“Yes,” he said: “My brush goes on with a rush,
       &nbsp And the draught is buried under;
When you have to whiten old cots and brighten,
       &nbsp What else can you do, I wonder?”
But she knows he’s there. And when she yearns
       &nbsp For him, deep in the labouring night,
She sees him as close at hand, and turns
       &nbsp To him under his sheet of white.

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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