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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 | |

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.
.
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These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.


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 | |

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 loving kindness' sake Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum, You did not come.
You love me not, 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 me not.


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


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 | |

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 | |

Drummer Hodge

 They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
Uncoffined -- just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
That breaks the veldt around:
And foreign constellations west
Each night above his mound.
Young Hodge the drummer never knew -- Fresh from his Wessex home -- The meaning of the broad Karoo, The Bush, the dusty loam, And why uprose to nightly view Strange stars amid the gloam.
Yet portion of that unknown plain Will Hodge for ever be; His homely Northern breast and brain Grow to some Southern tree, And strange-eyed constellations reign His stars eternally.


by Thomas Hardy | |

The House Of Hospitalities

 Here we broached the Christmas barrel,
 Pushed up the charred log-ends;
Here we sang the Christmas carol,
 And called in friends.
Time has tired me since we met here When the folk now dead were young, And the viands were outset here And quaint songs sung.
And the worm has bored the viol That used to lead the tune, Rust eaten out the dial That struck night's noon.
Now no Christmas brings in neighbours, And the New Year comes unlit; Where we sang the mole now labours, And spiders knit.
Yet at midnight if here walking, When the moon sheets wall and tree, I see forms of old time talking, Who smile on me.


by Thomas Hardy | |

An Autumn Rain-Scene

 There trudges one to a merry-making 
With sturdy swing, 
On whom the rain comes down.
To fetch the saving medicament Is another bent, On whom the rain comes down.
One slowly drives his herd to the stall Ere ill befall, On whom the rain comes down.
This bears his missives of life and death With quickening breath, On whom the rain comes down.
One watches for signals of wreck or war From the hill afar, On whom the rain comes down.
No care if he gain a shelter or none, Unhired moves on, On whom the rain comes down.
And another knows nought of its chilling fall Upon him aat all, On whom the rain comes down.


by Thomas Hardy | |

Neutral Tones

 WE stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
--They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.
Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove Over tedious riddles solved years ago; And some words played between us to and fro-- On which lost the more by our love.
The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing Alive enough to have strength to die; And a grin of bitterness swept thereby Like an ominous bird a-wing.
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.
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Since then, keen lessons that love deceives, And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with grayish leaves.


by Thomas Hardy | |

The Oxen

 Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees," An elder said as we sat in a flock By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where They dwelt in their strawy pen, Nor did it occur to one of us there To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave In these years! Yet, I feel, If someone said on Christmas Eve, "Come; see the oxen kneel, "In the lonely barton by yonder coomb Our childhood used to know," I should go with him in the gloom, Hoping it might be so.


by Thomas Hardy | |

An August Midnight

 I 

A shaded lamp and a waving blind, 
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor: 
On this scene enter--winged, horned, and spined - 
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore; 
While 'mid my page there idly stands 
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands .
.
.
II Thus meet we five, in this still place, At this point of time, at this point in space.
- My guests parade my new-penned ink, Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
"God's humblest, they!" I muse.
Yet why? They know Earth-secrets that know not I.


by Thomas Hardy | |

She At His Funeral

 THEY bear him to his resting-place--
In slow procession sweeping by;
I follow at a stranger's space;
His kindred they, his sweetheart I.
Unchanged my gown of garish dye, Though sable-sad is their attire; But they stand round with griefless eye, Whilst my regret consumes like fire!


by Thomas Hardy | |

Moments Of Vision

 That mirror 
Which makes of men a transparency, 
Who holds that mirror 
And bids us such a breast-bare spectacle see 
Of you and me?

That mirror 
Whose magic penetrates like a dart, 
Who lifts that mirror 
And throws our mind back on us, and our heart, 
until we start?

That mirror 
Works well in these night hours of ache; 
Why in that mirror 
Are tincts we never see ourselves once take 
When the world is awake?

That mirror 
Can test each mortal when unaware; 
Yea, that strange mirror 
May catch his last thoughts, whole life foul or fair, 
Glassing it -- where?


by Thomas Hardy | |

He Never Expected Much

 Well, World, you have kept faith with me, 
Kept faith with me; 
Upon the whole you have proved to be 
Much as you said you were.
Since as a child I used to lie Upon the leaze and watch the sky, Never, I own, expected I That life would all be fair.
'Twas then you said, and since have said, Times since have said, In that mysterious voice you shed From clouds and hills around: "Many have loved me desperately, Many with smooth serenity, While some have shown contempt of me Till they dropped underground.
"I do not promise overmuch, Child; overmuch; Just neutral-tinted haps and such," You said to minds like mine.
Wise warning for your credit's sake! Which I for one failed not to take, And hence could stem such strain and ache As each year might assign.


by Thomas Hardy | |

During Wind And Rain

 They sing their dearest songs --
He, she, all of them -- yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face.
.
.
.
Ah, no; the years O! How the sick leaves reel down in throngs! They clear the creeping moss -- Elders and juniors -- aye, Making the pathways neat And the garden gay; And they build a shady seat.
.
.
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Ah, no; the years, the years; See, the white storm-birds wing across! They are blithely breakfasting all -- Men and maidens -- yea, Under the summer tree, With a glimpse of the bay, While pet fowl come to the knee.
.
.
.
Ah, no; the years O! And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.
They change to a high new house, He, she, all of them -- aye, Clocks and carpets and chairs On the lawn all day, And brightest things that are theirs.
.
.
.
Ah, no; the years, the years; Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.


by Thomas Hardy | |

The Self-Unseeing

 Here is the ancient floor,
Footworn and hollowed and thin,
Here was the former door
Where the dead feet walked in.
She sat here in her chair, Smiling into the fire; He who played stood there, Bowing it higher and higher.
Childlike, I danced in a dream; Blessings emblazoned that day; Everything glowed with a gleam; Yet we were looking away!


by Thomas Hardy | |

I Look Into My Glass

 I look into my glass,
And view my wasting skin,
And say, "Would God it came to pass
My heart had shrunk as thin!"

For then, I, undistrest
By hearts grown cold to me,
Could lonely wait my endless rest
With equanimity.
But Time, to make me grieve, Part steals, lets part abide; And shakes this fragile frame at eve With throbbings of noontide.


by Thomas Hardy | |

The Fallow Deer At The Lonely House

 One without looks in tonight
Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white;
One without looks in tonight
As we sit and think 
By the fender-brink.
We do not discern those eyes Watching in the snow; Lit by lamps of rosy dyes We do not discern those eyes Wandering, aglow Four-footed, tiptoe.


by Thomas Hardy | |

Then And Now

 When battles were fought 
With a chivalrous sense of should and ought, 
In spirit men said, 
"End we quick or dead, 
Honour is some reward! 
Let us fight fair -- for our own best or worst; 
So, Gentlemen of the Guard, 
Fire first!" 

In the open they stood, 
Man to man in his knightlihood: 
They would not deign 
To profit by a stain 
On the honourable rules, 
Knowing that practise perfidy no man durst 
Who in the heroic schools 
Was nurst.
But now, behold, what Is war with those where honour is not! Rama laments Its dead innocents; Herod howls: "Sly slaughter Rules now! Let us, by modes once called accurst, Overhead, under water, Stab first.
"