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Best Famous Thomas Hardy Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Thomas Hardy poems. This is a select list of the best famous Thomas Hardy poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Thomas Hardy poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Thomas Hardy poems.

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by Thomas Hardy |

The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
     When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
     The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their household fires.
The land's sharp features seemed to be The Century's corpse outleant, His crypt the cloudy canopy, The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth Was shrunken hard and dry, And every spirit upon earth Seemed fevourless as I.
At once a voice arose among The bleak twigs overhead In a full-hearted evensong Of joy illimited; An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom.
So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware.


by Thomas Hardy |

Hap

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh:  "Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.
But not so.
How arrives it joy lies slain, And why unblooms the best hope ever sown? —Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain, And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan.
.
.
.
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.


by Thomas Hardy |

The Ruined Maid

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town? 
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"--
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.
--"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks, Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks; And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"-- "Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.
--"At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou,' And 'thik oon,' and 'theäs oon,' and 't'other'; but now Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!"-- "Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.
--"Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek, And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!"-- "We never do work when we're ruined," said she.
--"You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream, And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!"-- "True.
One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.
"--I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown, And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!"-- "My dear--a raw country girl, such as you be, Cannot quite expect that.
You ain't ruined," said she.


by Thomas Hardy |

The Voice

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.


by Thomas Hardy |

The Going of the Battery Wives. (Lament)

 I 

O it was sad enough, weak enough, mad enough - 
Light in their loving as soldiers can be - 
First to risk choosing them, leave alone losing them 
Now, in far battle, beyond the South Sea! .
.
.
II - Rain came down drenchingly; but we unblenchingly Trudged on beside them through mirk and through mire, They stepping steadily--only too readily! - Scarce as if stepping brought parting-time nigher.
III Great guns were gleaming there, living things seeming there, Cloaked in their tar-cloths, upmouthed to the night; Wheels wet and yellow from axle to felloe, Throats blank of sound, but prophetic to sight.
IV Gas-glimmers drearily, blearily, eerily Lit our pale faces outstretched for one kiss, While we stood prest to them, with a last quest to them Not to court perils that honour could miss.
V Sharp were those sighs of ours, blinded these eyes of ours, When at last moved away under the arch All we loved.
Aid for them each woman prayed for them, Treading back slowly the track of their march.
VI Someone said: "Nevermore will they come: evermore Are they now lost to us.
" O it was wrong! Though may be hard their ways, some Hand will guard their ways, Bear them through safely, in brief time or long.
VII - Yet, voices haunting us, daunting us, taunting us, Hint in the night-time when life beats are low Other and graver things .
.
.
Hold we to braver things, Wait we, in trust, what Time's fulness shall show.


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 tendance of her mound can loose Her spirit from Death's gin.
'" "But someone digs upon my grave? My enemy? -- prodding sly?" -- "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 to 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.
"


by Thomas Hardy |

The Convergence Of The Twain

 (Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")

 I
 In a solitude of the sea
 Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
II Steel chambers, late the pyres Of her salamandrine fires, Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
III Over the mirrors meant To glass the opulent The sea-worm crawls--grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.
IV Jewels in joy designed To ravish the sensuous mind Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.
V Dim moon-eyed fishes near Gaze at the gilded gear And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?".
.
.
VI Well: while was fashioning This creature of cleaving wing, The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything VII Prepared a sinister mate For her--so gaily great-- A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.
VIII And as the smart ship grew In stature, grace, and hue In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.
IX Alien they seemed to be: No mortal eye could see The intimate welding of their later history.
X Or sign that they were bent By paths coincident On being anon twin halves of one August event, XI Till the Spinner of the Years Said "Now!" And each one hears, And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.


by Thomas Hardy |

The Man He Killed

 Had he and I but met 
By some old ancient inn, 
We should have set us down to wet 
Right many a nipperkin! 

But ranged as infantry, 
And staring face to face, 
I shot at him as he at me, 
And killed him in his place.
I shot him dead because-- Because he was my foe, Just so: my foe of course he was; That's clear enough; although He thought he'd 'list, perhaps, Off-hand like--just as I-- Was out of work--had sold his traps-- No other reason why.
Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down You'd treat, if met where any bar is, Or help to half a crown.


by Thomas Hardy |

A Thunderstorm In Town

 (A Reminiscence, 1893)

She wore a 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
 We sat on, snug and warm.
Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain, And the glass that had screened our forms before Flew up, and out she sprang to her door: I should have kissed her if the rain Had lasted a minute more.


by Thomas Hardy |

Heredity

 I am the family face; 
Flesh perishes, I live on, 
Projecting trait and trace 
Through time to times anon, 
And leaping from place to place 
Over oblivion.
The years-heired feature that can In curve and voice and eye Despise the human span Of durance -- that is I; The eternal thing in man, That heeds no call to die