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Thomas Hardy (Томас Гарди (Харди))

‘A Gentleman’s Second-Hand Suit’

Here it is hanging in the sun
By the pawn-shop door,
A dress-suit – all its revels done
Of heretofore.
Long drilled to the waltzers’ swing and sway,
As its tokens show:
What it has seen, what it could say
If it did but know!

The sleeve bears still a print of powder
Rubbed from her arms
When she warmed up as the notes swelled louder
And livened her charms –
Or rather theirs, for beauties many
Leant there, no doubt,
Leaving these tell-tale traces when he
Spun them about.

Its cut seems rather in bygone style
On looking close,
So it mayn’t have bent it for some while
To the dancing pose:
Anyhow, often within its clasp
Fair partners hung,
Assenting to the wearer’s grasp
With soft sweet tongue.

Where is, alas, the gentleman
Who wore this suit?
And where are his ladies? Tell none can:
Gossip is mute.
Some of them may forget him quite
Who smudged his sleeve,
Some think of a wild and whirling night
With him, and grieve.

Thomas Hardy's other poems:
  1. Joys of Memory
  2. Silences
  3. The Bad Example
  4. If You Had Known
  5. She Revisits Alone the Church of Her Marriage

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