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‘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:
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