Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
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Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
 
37. Thoughts of Ph——a
 
 
NOT a line of her writing have I,
    Not a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
    I may picture her there;
  And in vain do I urge my unsight        5
    To conceive my lost prize
At her close, whom I knew when her dreams were upbrimming with light,
    And with laughter her eyes.
 
  What scenes spread around her last days,
    Sad, shining, or dim?        10
Did her gifts and compassions enray and enarch her sweet ways
    With an aureate nimb?
  Or did life-light decline from her years,
    And mischances control
Her full day-star; unease, or regret, or forebodings, or fears        15
    Disennoble her soul?
 
  Thus I do but the phantom retain
    Of the maiden of yore
As my relic; yet haply the best of her—fined in my brain
    It may be the more        20
  That no line of her writing have I,
    Nor a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
    I may picture her there.

March, 1890.
 

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