Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Winter Poem: In Tenebris I

The first part of a three-poem sequence by Thomas Hardy, written in 1896.
"Percussus sum sicut foenum, et aruit cor meum."
- Psalm 102
['My heart is smitten, and withered like grass']

Wintertime nighs;
But my bereavement-pain
It cannot bring again:
Twice no one dies.

Flower-petals flee;
But since it once hath been,
No more that severing scene
Can harrow me.

Birds faint in dread:
I shall not lose old strength
In the lone frost's black length:
Strength long since fled!

Leaves freeze to dun;
But friends cannot turn cold
This season as of old
For him with none.

Tempests may scath;
But love cannot make smart
Again this year his heart
Who no heart hath.

Black is night's cope;
But death will not appal
One, who past doubtings all,
Waits in unhope.

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