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Thomas Hardy (Томас Харди)

Cry of the Homeless

  After the Prussian Invasion of Belgium

‘Instigator of the ruin –
Whichsoever thou mayst be
Of the masterful of Europe
That contrived our misery –
Hear the wormwood-worded greeting
From each city, shore, and lea
Of thy victims:
“Conqueror, all hail to thee!”

‘Yea: “All hail!” we grimly shout thee
That wast author, fount, and head
Of these wounds, whoever proven
When our times are throughly read.
“May thy loved be slighted, blighted,
And forsaken,” be it said
By thy victims,
“And thy children beg their bread!”

‘Nay: a richer malediction! –
Rather let this thing befall
In time’s hurling and unfurling
On the night when comes thy call;
That compassion dew thy pillow
And bedrench thy senses all
For thy victims,
Till death dark thee with his pall.’

August 1915

Thomas Hardy's other poems:
  1. If You Had Known
  2. She Revisits Alone the Church of Her Marriage
  3. At the Entering of the New Year
  4. They Would Not Come
  5. After a Romantic Day

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