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Thomas Hardy (1840–1928). Wessex Poems and Other Verses. 1898.

12. Revulsion

THOUGH I waste watches framing words to fetter

Some spirit to mine own in clasp and kiss,

Out of the night there looms a sense ’twere better

To fail obtaining whom one fails to miss.

For winning love we win the risk of losing,

And losing love is as one’s life were riven;

It cuts like contumely and keen ill-using

To cede what was superfluously given.

Let me then feel no more the fateful thrilling

That devastates the love-worn wooer’s frame,

The hot ado of fevered hopes, the chilling

That agonizes disappointed aim!

So may I live no junctive law fulfilling,

And my heart’s table bear no woman’s name.