Winter in Durnover Field by Thomas Hardy

Scene.—A wide stretch of fallow ground recently sown with wheat,
and frozen to iron hardness. Three large birds walking about thereon,
and wistfully eyeing the surface. Wind keen from north-east: sky a dull grey.

(Triolet)

Rook.—Throughout the field I find no grain;
The cruel frost encrusts the cornland!
Starling.—Aye: patient pecking now is vain
Throughout the field, I find…
Rook.—No grain!
Pigeon.—Nor will be, comrade, till it rain,
Or genial thawings loose the lorn land
Throughout the field.
Rook.—I find no grain:
The cruel frost encrusts the cornland!

Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave? by Thomas Hardy

Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave? by Thomas Hardy

Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?

‘Ah, are you digging on my grave
My loved one? — planting rue?
–No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
‘It cannot hurt her now.’ he said,
“That I should not be true.”‘

‘Then who is digging on my grave?
My nearest dearest kin?’
–‘Ah, no; they sit and think, “What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendence of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death’s gin.”

‘But some one digs upon my grave?
My enemy?–prodding shy?’
–‘Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie.’

‘Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say–since I have not guessed!’
–‘O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog, who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?’

‘Ah, yes! You dig upon my grave…
Why flashed it not on me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog’s fidelity!’

‘Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone, in case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot,
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting-place.’

Thomas Hardy (1914)

The Voice by Thomas Hardy

The Voice by Thomas Hardy

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then,
Even to the original air-blue gown!

Or is it only the breeze in its listlessness
Travelling across the wet mead to me here,
You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness,
Heard no more again far or near?

Thus I; faltering forward,
Leaves around me falling,
Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward,
And the woman calling.

The Voice by Thomas Hardy

End of content

End of content