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At An Inn

 WHEN we as strangers sought
Their catering care,
Veiled smiles bespoke their thought
Of what we were.
They warmed as they opined Us more than friends-- That we had all resigned For love's dear ends.
And that swift sympathy With living love Which quicks the world--maybe The spheres above, Made them our ministers, Moved them to say, "Ah, God, that bliss like theirs Would flush our day!" And we were left alone As Love's own pair; Yet never the love-light shone Between us there! But that which chilled the breath Of afternoon, And palsied unto death The pane-fly's tune.
The kiss their zeal foretold, And now deemed come, Came not: within his hold Love lingered numb.
Why cast he on our port A bloom not ours? Why shaped us for his sport In after-hours? As we seemed we were not That day afar, And now we seem not what We aching are.
O severing sea and land, O laws of men, Ere death, once let us stand As we stood then!

Poem by Thomas Hardy
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