Tess's Lament


I would that folk forgot me quite,
Forgot me quite!
I would that I could shrink from sight,
And no more see the sun.
Would it were time to say farewell,
To claim my nook, to need my knell,
Time for them all to stand and tell
Of my day's work as done.


Ah! dairy where I lived so long,
I lived so long;
Where I would rise up stanch and strong,
And lie down hopefully.
'Twas there within the chimney-seat
He watched me to the clock's slow beat -
Loved me, and learnt to call me sweet,
And whispered words to me.
 Posted by Picasa

In a Wood


Pale beech and pine-tree blue,
Set in one clay,
Bough to bough cannot you
Bide out your day?
When the rains skim and skip,
Why mar sweet comradeship,
Blighting with poison-drip
Neighbourly spray?

Heart-halt and spirit-lame,
Unto this wood I came
As to a nest;
Dreaming that sylvan peace
Offered the harrowed ease--
Nature a soft release
From men's unrest.

But, having entered in,
Great growths and small
Show them to men akin -
Combatants all!
Sycamore shoulders oak,
Bines the slim sapling yoke,
Ivy-spun halters choke
Elms stout and tall.

Touches from ash, O wych,
Sting you like scorn!
You, too, brave hollies, twitch
Sidelong from thorn.
Even the rank poplars bear
Illy a rival's air,
Cankering in black despair
If overborne.

Since, then, no grace I find
Taught me of trees,
Turn I back to my kind,
Worthy as these.
There at least smiles abound,
There discourse trills around,
There, now and then, are found

1887: 1896.
 Posted by Picasa

Paths of Former Time

No; no;
It must not be so:
They are the ways we do not go.

Still chew
The kine, and moo
In the meadows we used to wander through;

Still purl
The rivulets and curl
Towards the weirs with a musical swirl;

As in former years
Rake rolls into heaps that the pitchfork rears;

Wheels crack
On the turfy track
The waggon pursues with its toppling pack.

"Why then shun -
Since summer's not done -
All this because of the lack of one?"

Had you been
Sharer of that scene
You would not ask while it bites in keen

 Posted by Picasa

I Sometimes Think (For F. E. H.)

I sometimes think as here I sit
Of things I have done,
Which seemed in doing not unfit
To face the sun:
Yet never a soul has paused a whit
On such - not one.

There was that eager strenuous press
To sow good seed;
There was that saving from distress
In the nick of need;
There were those words in the wilderness:
Who cared to heed?

Yet can this be full true, or no?
For one did care,
And, spiriting into my house, to, fro,
Like wind on the stair,
Cares still, heeds all, and will, even though
I may despair.

 Posted by Picasa

The Discovery

I wandered to a crude coast
Like a ghost;
Upon the hills I saw fires -
Funeral pyres
Seemingly--and heard breaking
Waves like distant cannonades that set the land shaking.

And so I never once guessed
A Love-nest,
Bowered and candle-lit, lay
In my way,
Till I found a hid hollow,
Where I burst on her my heart could not but follow.
 Posted by Picasa

More Love Lyrics


In five-score summers! All new eyes,
New minds, new modes, new fools, new wise;
New woes to weep, new joys to prize;

With nothing left of me and you
In that live century's vivid view
Beyond a pinch of dust or two;

A century which, if not sublime,
Will show, I doubt not, at its prime,
A scope above this blinkered time.

- Yet what to me how far above?
For I would only ask thereof
That thy worm should be my worm, Love!

 Posted by Picasa