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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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

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.
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

A Christmas Ghost Story

 South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
A mouldering soldier lies--your countryman.
Awry and doubled up are his gray bones, And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans Nightly to clear Canopus: "I would know By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified, Was ruled to be inept, and set aside? And what of logic or of truth appears In tacking 'Anno Domini' to the years? Near twenty-hundred livened thus have hied, But tarries yet the Cause for which He died.
"
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

Birds at Winter Nightfall (Triolet)

 Around the house the flakes fly faster, 
And all the berries now are gone 
From holly and cotoneaster 
Around the house.
The flakes fly!--faster Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster We used to see upon the lawn Around the house.
The flakes fly faster, And all the berries now are gone!


Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

How Great My Grief (Triolet)

 How great my grief, my joys how few, 
Since first it was my fate to know thee! 
- Have the slow years not brought to view 
How great my grief, my joys how few, 
Nor memory shaped old times anew, 
 Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee 
How great my grief, my joys how few, 
 Since first it was my fate to know thee?
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

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 | Create an image from this poem

A Wasted Illness

 Through vaults of pain, 
Enribbed and wrought with groins of ghastliness, 
I passed, and garish spectres moved my brain 
 To dire distress.
And hammerings, And quakes, and shoots, and stifling hotness, blent With webby waxing things and waning things As on I went.
"Where lies the end To this foul way?" I asked with weakening breath.
Thereon ahead I saw a door extend - The door to death.
It loomed more clear: "At last!" I cried.
"The all-delivering door!" And then, I knew not how, it grew less near Than theretofore.
And back slid I Along the galleries by which I came, And tediously the day returned, and sky, And life--the same.
And all was well: Old circumstance resumed its former show, And on my head the dews of comfort fell As ere my woe.
I roam anew, Scarce conscious of my late distress .
.
.
And yet Those backward steps through pain I cannot view Without regret.
For that dire train Of waxing shapes and waning, passed before, And those grim aisles, must be traversed again To reach that door.
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

The Sick God

 I 

 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 | Create an image from this poem

The Dead Man Walking

 They hail me as one living,
But don't they know
That I have died of late years,
Untombed although?

I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
Ashes gone cold.
Not at a minute's warning, Not in a loud hour, For me ceased Time's enchantments In hall and bower.
There was no tragic transit, No catch of breath, When silent seasons inched me On to this death .
.
.
-- A Troubadour-youth I rambled With Life for lyre, The beats of being raging In me like fire.
But when I practised eyeing The goal of men, It iced me, and I perished A little then.
When passed my friend, my kinsfolk, Through the Last Door, And left me standing bleakly, I died yet more; And when my Love's heart kindled In hate of me, Wherefore I knew not, died I One more degree.
And if when I died fully I cannot say, And changed into the corpse-thing I am to-day, Yet is it that, though whiling The time somehow In walking, talking, smiling, I live not now.