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After the Last Breath

(J.H. 18131904)


There's no more to be done, or feared, or hoped;

None now need watch, speak low, and list, and tire;

No irksome crease outsmoothed, no pillow sloped

        Does she require.


Blankly we gaze.  We are free to go or stay;

Our morrow's anxious plans have missed their aim;

Whether we leave to-night or wait till day

        Counts as the same.


The lettered vessels of medicaments

Seem asking wherefore we have set them here;

Each palliative its silly face presents

        As useless gear.


And yet we feel that something savours well;

We note a numb relief withheld before;

Our well-beloved is prisoner in the cell

        Of Time no more.


We see by littles now the deft achievement

Whereby she has escaped the Wrongers all,

In view of which our momentary bereavement

        Outshapes but small.


Thomas Hardy



Graphics by
Star Shine

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