Houzz Logo Print

Why? And why this poem?

14 years ago

A few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with this poem raging through my head - albeit with bits missing. Of course, this warrented a trail downstairs to find the poem and read all. The poem haunted my sleep for weeks, then was replaced by another Hardy poem - can't remember which.

All left me for a while. Now, for the last fortnight, I not only wake once more to the following (with bits missing), but it invades my mind in the daytime too! Why? And why this poem?

Those of you who know me will know that poetry is my 'thing' and I can remember reams of it - no virtue, just the way my brain works. But I've never had this happen to me before and I don't know why it is now..... It's driving me mad! I'm invaded!

I can tell you now that I'm:

a) not newly in love

b) not having an affair

c) not feeling particularly tragic or that the gods are getting at me (no more than usual, that is)

And can anyone please suggest how I can exorcise this poem? Here it is:



Thomas Hardy

When we as strangers sought

Their catering care,

Veiled smiles bespoke their thought

Of what we were.

They warmed as they opined

Us more than friends -

That we had all resigned

For love's dear ends.

And that swift sympathy

With living love

Which quicks the world--maybe

The spheres above,

Made them our ministers,

Moved them to say,

"Ah, God, that bliss like theirs

Would flush our day!"

And we were left alone

As Love's own pair;

Yet never the love-light shone

Between us there!

But that which chilled the breath

Of afternoon,

And palsied unto death

The pane-fly's tune.

The kiss their zeal foretold,

And now deemed come,

Came not: within his hold

Love lingered-numb.

Why cast he on our port

A bloom not ours?

Why shaped us for his sport

In after-hours?

As we seemed we were not

That day afar,

And now we seem not what

We aching are.

O severing sea and land,

O laws of men,

Ere death, once let us stand

As we stood then!

Comments (10)