Favourite Forever: Thomas Hardy/Lekhni-July -August 17

I need not go

I need not go
Through sleet and snow
To where I know
She waits for me;
She will wait me there
Till I find it fair,
And have time to spare
From company.

When I’ve overgot
The world somewhat,
When things cost not
Such stress and strain,
Is soon enough
By cypress sough
To tell my Love
I am come again.

And if some day,
When none cries nay,
I still delay
To seek her side,
(Though ample measure
Of fitting leisure
Await my pleasure)
She will not chide.

What–not upbraid me
That I delayed me,
Nor ask what stayed me
So long? Ah, no! –
New cares may claim me,
New loves inflame me,
She will not blame me,
But suffer it so.

“Between Us Now”

Between us now and here –
   Two thrown together
Who are not wont to wear
   Life’s flushest feather –
Who see the scenes slide past,
The daytimes dimming fast,
Let there be truth at last,
   Even if despair.

So thoroughly and long
   Have you now known me,
So real in faith and strong
   Have I now shown me,
That nothing needs disguise
Further in any wise,
Or asks or justifies
   A guarded tongue.

Face unto face, then, say,
   Eyes mine own meeting,
Is your heart far away,
   Or with mine beating?
When false things are brought low,
And swift things have grown slow,
Feigning like froth shall go,
   Faith be for aye.

A Broken Appointment

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb.
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
-I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me.

How great my grief

How great my grief, my joys how few,
Since first it was my fate to know thee!
– Have the slow years not brought to view
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Nor memory shaped old times anew,
   Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
How great my grief, my joys how few,
   Since first it was my fate to know thee?