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 Widow"

By Mellstock Lodge and Avenue
        Towards her door I went,
And sunset on her window-panes
        Reflected our intent.

The creeper on the gable nigh
        Was fired to more than red
And when I came to halt thereby
        "Bright as my joy!" I said.

Of late days it had been her aim
        To meet me in the hall;
Now at my footsteps no one came;
        And no one to my call.

Again I knocked; and tardily
        An inner step was heard,
And I was shown her presence then
        With scarce an answering word.

She met me, and but barely took
        My proffered warm embrace;
Preoccupation weighed her look,
        And hardened her sweet face.

"To-morrow—could you—would you call?
        Make brief your present stay?
My child is ill—my one, my all! -
        And can't be left to-day."

And then she turns, and gives commands
        As I were out of sound,
Or were no more to her and hers
        Than any neighbour round . . .

- As maid I wooed her; but one came
        And coaxed her heart away,
And when in time he wedded her
        I deemed her gone for aye.

He won, I lost her; and my loss
        I bore I know not how;
But I do think I suffered then
        Less wretchedness than now.

For Time, in taking him, had oped
        An unexpected door
Of bliss for me, which grew to seem
        Far surer than before . . .

Her word is steadfast, and I know
        That plighted firm are we:
But she has caught new love-calls since
        She smiled as maid on me!

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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