Thomas Hardy ( )


Friends Beyond


  William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough, 
        Roberts kin, and Johns, and Neds, 
  And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock churchyard now! 
  
  Gone, I call them, gone for good, that group of local hearts and heads; 
        Yet at mothy curfew-tide, 
  And at midnight when the noon-heat breathes it back from walls and 
            leads, 
  
  Theyve a way of whispering to me  fellow-wight who yet abide  
        In the muted, measured note 
  Of a ripple under archways, or a lone caves stillicide: 
  
  We have triumphed: this achievement turns the bane to antidote, 
        Unsuccesses to success, 
  Many thought-worn eves and morrows to a morrow free of thought. 
  
  No more need we corn and clothing, feel of old terrestrial stress; 
        Chill detraction stirs no sigh; 
  Fear of death has even bygone us: death gave all that we possess. 
  
  W. D.  Ye mid burn the old bass-viol that I set such value by. 
  Squire.  You may hold the manse in fee, 
      You may wed my spouse, may let my childrens memory of me 
            die.
  
  Lady S.  You may have my rich brocades, my laces; take each 
            household key; 
        Ransack coffer, desk, bureau; 
      Quiz the few poor treasures hid there, con the letters kept by me. 
  
  Far.  Ye mid zell my favourite heifer, ye mid let the charlock grow, 
        Foul the grinterns, give up thrift. 
  Far. Wife.  If ye break my best blue china, children, I shant care or 
            ho. 
  
  All.  Weve no wish to hear the tidings, how the peoples fortunes 
            shift; 
        What your daily doings are; 
      Who are wedded, born, divided; if your lives beat slow or swift. 
  
  Curious not the least are we if our intents you make or mar, 
        If you quire to our old tune, 
  If the City stage still passes, if the weirs still roar afar. 
  
   Thus, with very gods composure, freed those crosses late and soon 
        Which, in life, the Trine allow 
  (Why, none witteth), and ignoring all that haps beneath the moon, 
  
  William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough, 
        Roberts kin, and Johns, and Neds, 
  And the Squire, and Lady Susan, murmur mildly to me now.



Thomas Hardy's other poems:
  1. For Life I Had Never Cared Greatly
  2. Men Who March Away
  3. On the Belgian Expatriation
  4. An Appeal to America on Behalf of the Belgian Destitute
  5. In Time of Wars and Tumults


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