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

32. The Ivy-Wife

I LONGED to love a full-boughed beech

And be as high as he:

I stretched an arm within his reach,

And signalled unity.

But with his drip he forced a breach,

And tried to poison me.

I gave the grasp of partnership

To one of other race—

A plane: he barked him strip by strip

From upper bough to base;

And me therewith; for gone my grip,

My arms could not enlace.

In new affection next I strove

To coll an ash I saw,

And he in trust received my love;

Till with my soft green claw

I cramped and bound him as I wove…

Such was my love: ha-ha!

By this I gained his strength and height

Without his rivalry.

But in my triumph I lost sight

Of afterhaps. Soon he,

Being bark-bound, flagged, snapped, fell outright,

And in his fall felled me!