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The Going

 

Why did you give no hint that night

That quickly after the morrow's dawn,

And calmly, as if indifferent quite,

You would close your term here, up and be gone

Where I could not follow

With wing of swallow

To gain one glimpse of you ever anon!

 

Never to bid good-bye,

Or lip me the softest call,

Or utter a wish for a word, while I

Saw morning harden upon the wall,

Unmoved, unknowing

That your great going

Had place that moment, and altered all.

 

Why do you make me leave the house

And think for a breath it is you I see

At the end of the alley of bending boughs

Where so often at dusk you used to be;

Till in darkening dankness

The yawning blankness

Of the perspective sickens me!

 

You were she who abode

By those red-veined rocks far West,

You were the swan-necked one who rode

Along the beetling Beeny Crest,

And, reining nigh me,

Would muse and eye me,

While Life unrolled us its very best.

 

Why, then, latterly did we not speak,

Did we not think of those days long dead,

And ere your vanishing strive to seek

That time's renewal?  We might have said,

"In this bright spring weather

We'll visit together

Those places that once we visited."

 

Well, well!  All's past amend,

Unchangeable.  It must go.

I seem but a dead man held on end

To sink down soon. . . . O you could not know

That such swift fleeing

No soul foreseeingó

Not even Iówould undo me so!

 

Thomas Hardy


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