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

13. She, to Him. I

WHEN you shall see me lined by tool of Time,

My lauded beauties carried off from me,

My eyes no longer stars as in their prime,

My name forgot of Maiden Fair and Free;

When in your being heart concedes to mind,

And judgment, though you scarce its process know,

Recalls the excellencies I once enshrined,

And you are irked that they have withered so:

Remembering that with me lies not the blame,

That Sportsman Time but rears his brood to kill,

Knowing me in my soul the very same—

One who would die to spare you touch of ill!—

Will you not grant to old affection’s claim

The hand of friendship down Life’s sunless hill?