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

15. She, to Him. III

I WILL be faithful to thee; aye, I will!

And Death shall choose me with a wondering eye

That he did not discern and domicile

One his by right ever since that last Good-bye!

I have no care for friends, or kin, or prime

Of manhood who deal gently with me here;

Amid the happy people of my time

Who work their love’s fulfilment, I appear

Numb as a vane that cankers on its point,

True to the wind that kissed ere canker came;

Despised by souls of Now, who would disjoint

The mind from memory, and make Life all aim,

My old dexterities of hue quite gone,

And nothing left for Love to look upon.