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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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Written 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.

Written by Thomas Hardy |


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.

Written 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.

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Written 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.

Written 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.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

A Sign-Seeker

 I MARK the months in liveries dank and dry,
The day-tides many-shaped and hued;
I see the nightfall shades subtrude,
And hear the monotonous hours clang negligently by.
I view the evening bonfires of the sun On hills where morning rains have hissed; The eyeless countenance of the mist Pallidly rising when the summer droughts are done.
I have seen the lightning-blade, the leaping star, The caldrons of the sea in storm, Have felt the earthquake's lifting arm, And trodden where abysmal fires and snowcones are.
I learn to prophesy the hid eclipse, The coming of eccentric orbs; To mete the dust the sky absorbs, To weigh the sun, and fix the hour each planet dips.
I witness fellow earth-men surge and strive; Assemblies meet, and throb, and part; Death's soothing finger, sorrow's smart; --All the vast various moils that mean a world alive.
But that I fain would wot of shuns my sense-- Those sights of which old prophets tell, Those signs the general word so well, Vouchsafed to their unheed, denied my watchings tense.
In graveyard green, behind his monument To glimpse a phantom parent, friend, Wearing his smile, and "Not the end!" Outbreathing softly: that were blest enlightenment; Or, if a dead Love's lips, whom dreams reveal When midnight imps of King Decay Delve sly to solve me back to clay, Should leave some print to prove her spirit-kisses real; Or, when Earth's Frail lie bleeding of her Strong, If some Recorder, as in Writ, Near to the weary scene should flit And drop one plume as pledge that Heaven inscrolls the wrong.
--There are who, rapt to heights of tranc?d trust, These tokens claim to feel and see, Read radiant hints of times to be-- Of heart to heart returning after dust to dust.
Such scope is granted not my powers indign.
I have lain in dead men's beds, have walked The tombs of those with whom I'd talked, Called many a gone and goodly one to shape a sign, And panted for response.
But none replies; No warnings loom, nor whisperings To open out my limitings, And Nescience mutely muses: When a man falls he lies.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

The Tree: An Old Mans Story


Its roots are bristling in the air 
Like some mad Earth-god's spiny hair; 
The loud south-wester's swell and yell 
Smote it at midnight, and it fell.
Thus ends the tree Where Some One sat with me.
II Its boughs, which none but darers trod, A child may step on from the sod, And twigs that earliest met the dawn Are lit the last upon the lawn.
Cart off the tree Beneath whose trunk sat we! III Yes, there we sat: she cooed content, And bats ringed round, and daylight went; The gnarl, our seat, is wrenched and sunk, Prone that queer pocket in the trunk Where lay the key To her pale mystery.
IV "Years back, within this pocket-hole I found, my Love, a hurried scrawl Meant not for me," at length said I; "I glanced thereat, and let it lie: The words were three - 'Beloved, I agree.
' V "Who placed it here; to what request It gave assent, I never guessed.
Some prayer of some hot heart, no doubt, To some coy maiden hereabout, Just as, maybe, With you, Sweet Heart, and me.
" VI She waited, till with quickened breath She spoke, as one who banisheth Reserves that lovecraft heeds so well, To ease some mighty wish to tell: "'Twas I," said she, "Who wrote thus clinchingly.
VII "My lover's wife--aye, wife!--knew nought Of what we felt, and bore, and thought .
He'd said: 'I wed with thee or die: She stands between, 'tis true.
But why? Do thou agree, And--she shalt cease to be.
' VIII "How I held back, how love supreme Involved me madly in his scheme Why should I say? .
I wrote assent (You found it hid) to his intent .
She--DIED .
But he Came not to wed with me.
IX "O shrink not, Love!--Had these eyes seen But once thine own, such had not been! But we were strangers .
Thus the plot Cleared passion's path.
--Why came he not To wed with me? .
He wived the gibbet-tree.
" X - Under that oak of heretofore Sat Sweetheart mine with me no more: By many a Fiord, and Strom, and Fleuve Have I since wandered .
Soon, for love, Distraught went she - 'Twas said for love of me.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

Between Us Now

 Between us now and here - 
 Two thrown together 
Who are not wont to wear 
 Life's flushest feather - 
Who see the scenes slide past, 
The daytimes dimming fast, 
Let there be truth at last, 
 Even if despair.
So thoroughly and long Have you now known me, So real in faith and strong Have I now shown me, That nothing needs disguise Further in any wise, Or asks or justifies A guarded tongue.
Face unto face, then, say, Eyes mine own meeting, Is your heart far away, Or with mine beating? When false things are brought low, And swift things have grown slow, Feigning like froth shall go, Faith be for aye.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

The Sick God


 In days when men had joy of war, 
A God of Battles sped each mortal jar; 
 The peoples pledged him heart and hand, 
 From Israel's land to isles afar.
II His crimson form, with clang and chime, Flashed on each murk and murderous meeting-time, And kings invoked, for rape and raid, His fearsome aid in rune and rhyme.
III On bruise and blood-hole, scar and seam, On blade and bolt, he flung his fulgid beam: His haloes rayed the very gore, And corpses wore his glory-gleam.
IV Often an early King or Queen, And storied hero onward, knew his sheen; 'Twas glimpsed by Wolfe, by Ney anon, And Nelson on his blue demesne.
V But new light spread.
That god's gold nimb And blazon have waned dimmer and more dim; Even his flushed form begins to fade, Till but a shade is left of him.
VI That modern meditation broke His spell, that penmen's pleadings dealt a stroke, Say some; and some that crimes too dire Did much to mire his crimson cloak.
VII Yea, seeds of crescive sympathy Were sown by those more excellent than he, Long known, though long contemned till then - The gods of men in amity.
VIII Souls have grown seers, and thought out-brings The mournful many-sidedness of things With foes as friends, enfeebling ires And fury-fires by gaingivings! IX He scarce impassions champions now; They do and dare, but tensely--pale of brow; And would they fain uplift the arm Of that faint form they know not how.
X Yet wars arise, though zest grows cold; Wherefore, at whiles, as 'twere in ancient mould He looms, bepatched with paint and lath; But never hath he seemed the old! XI Let men rejoice, let men deplore.
The lurid Deity of heretofore Succumbs to one of saner nod; The Battle-god is god no more.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

At a Lunar Eclipse

 Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea, 
Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine 
In even monochrome and curving line 
Of imperturbable serenity.
How shall I link such sun-cast symmetry With the torn troubled form I know as thine, That profile, placid as a brow divine, With continents of moil and misery? And can immense Mortality but throw So small a shade, and Heaven's high human scheme Be hemmed within the coasts yon arc implies? Is such the stellar gauge of earthly show, Nation at war with nation, brains that teem, Heroes, and women fairer than the skies?

Written by Thomas Hardy |

V.R. 1819-1901 (A Reverie.)

 Moments the mightiest pass calendared,
And when the Absolute
In backward Time outgave the deedful word
Whereby all life is stirred:
"Let one be born and throned whose mould shall constitute
The norm of every royal-reckoned attribute,"
No mortal knew or heard.
But in due days the purposed Life outshone - Serene, sagacious, free; --Her waxing seasons bloomed with deeds well done, And the world's heart was won .
Yet may the deed of hers most bright in eyes to be Lie hid from ours--as in the All-One's thought lay she - Till ripening years have run.

Written by Robert William Service |

Hero Worship

 Said he: "You saw the Master clear;
By Rushy Pond alone he sat,
Serene and silent as a seer,
in tweedy coat and seedy hat.
you tell me you did not intrude, (Although his book was in your hand,) Upon his melancholy mood .
I do not understand.
"You did not tell him: 'I have come From o'er the sea to speak to you.
' You did not dare, your lips were dumb .
You thought a little zephyr blew From Rushy Pond a touch of him You'll cherish to your dying day, Perhaps with tears your eyes were dim .
And then - you went away.
"And down the years you will proclaim: 'O call me dullard, dub me dunce! But let this be my meed of fame: I looked on Thomas Hardy once.
Aye, by a stile I stood a span And with these eyes did plainly see A little, shrinking, shabby man .
But Oh a god to me!'" Said I: "'Tis true, I scarce dared look, yet he would have been kind, I'm sure; But though I clutched his precious book I feared to beg his signature.
Ah yes, my friend, I merit mirth.
You're bold, you have the right to laugh, And if Christ came again to earth You'd cadge his autograph.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

Midnight On The Great Western

 In the third-class seat sat the journeying boy, 
And the roof-lamp's oily flame 
Played down on his listless form and face, 
Bewrapt past knowing to what he was going, 
Or whence he came.
In the band of his hat the journeying boy Had a ticket stuck; and a string Around his neck bore the key of his box, That twinkled gleams of the lamp's sad beams Like a living thing.
What past can be yours, O journeying boy Towards a world uknown, Who calmly, as if incurious quite On all at stake, can undertake This plunge alone? Knows your soul a sphere, O journeying boy, Our rude realms far above, Whence with spacious vision you mark and mete This region of sin that you find you in, But are not of?

Written 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.
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.

Written by Thomas Hardy |

In The Moonlight

 "O lonely workman, standing there
In a dream, why do you stare and stare
At her grave, as no other grave where there?" 

"If your great gaunt eyes so importune
Her soul by the shine of this corpse-cold moon,
Maybe you'll raise her phantom soon!" 

"Why, fool, it is what I would rather see
Than all the living folk there be;
But alas, there is no such joy for me!" 

"Ah - she was one you loved, no doubt,
Through good and evil, through rain and drought,
And when she passed, all your sun went out?" 

"Nay: she was the woman I did not love,
Whom all the other were ranked above,
Whom during her life I thought nothing of.