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

14. She, to Him. II

PERHAPS, long hence, when I have passed away,

Some other’s feature, accent, thought like mine,

Will carry you back to what I used to say,

And bring some memory of your love’s decline.

Then you may pause awhile and think, “Poor jade!”

And yield a sigh to me—as gift benign,

Not as the tittle of a debt unpaid

To one who could to you her all resign—

And thus reflecting, you will never see

That your thin thought, in two small words conveyed,

Was no such fleeting phantom-thought to me,

But the Whole Life wherein my part was played;

And you amid its fitful masquerade

A Thought—as I in yours but seem to be.