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Wives in the Sere


Never a careworn wife but shows, 
 If a joy suffuse her, 
Something beautiful to those 
 Patient to peruse her, 
Some one charm the world unknows 
 Precious to a muser, 
Haply what, ere years were foes, 
 Moved her mate to choose her.
II But, be it a hint of rose That an instant hues her, Or some early light or pose Wherewith thought renews her - Seen by him at full, ere woes Practised to abuse her - Sparely comes it, swiftly goes, Time again subdues her.

by Thomas Hardy
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