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The Widow

Written by: Thomas Hardy | Biography
 | Quotes (33) |
 By Mellstock Lodge and Avenue 
 Towards her door I went, 
And sunset on her window-panes 
 Reflected our intent. 

The creeper on the gable nigh 
 Was fired to more than red 
And when I came to halt thereby 
 "Bright as my joy!" I said. 

Of late days it had been her aim 
 To meet me in the hall; 
Now at my footsteps no one came; 
 And no one to my call. 

Again I knocked; and tardily 
 An inner step was heard, 
And I was shown her presence then 
 With scarce an answering word. 

She met me, and but barely took 
 My proffered warm embrace; 
Preoccupation weighed her look, 
 And hardened her sweet face. 

"To-morrow--could you--would you call? 
 Make brief your present stay? 
My child is ill--my one, my all! - 
 And can't be left to-day." 

And then she turns, and gives commands 
 As I were out of sound, 
Or were no more to her and hers 
 Than any neighbour round . . . 

- As maid I wooed her; but one came 
 And coaxed her heart away, 
And when in time he wedded her 
 I deemed her gone for aye. 

He won, I lost her; and my loss 
 I bore I know not how; 
But I do think I suffered then 
 Less wretchedness than now. 

For Time, in taking him, had oped 
 An unexpected door 
Of bliss for me, which grew to seem 
 Far surer than before . . . 

Her word is steadfast, and I know 
 That plighted firm are we: 
But she has caught new love-calls since 
 She smiled as maid on me!



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