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

36. To Outer Nature

SHOW thee as I thought thee

When I early sought thee,


All undoubting

Love alone had wrought thee—

Wrought thee for my pleasure,

Planned thee as a measure

For expounding

And resounding

Glad things that men treasure.

O for but a moment

Of that old endowment—

Light to gaily

See thy daily

Irisèd embowment!

But such readorning

Time forbids with scorning—

Makes me see things

Cease to be things

They were in my morning.

Fad’st thou, glow-forsaken,


Thy first sweetness,

Radiance, meetness,

None shall reawaken.

Why not sempiternal

Thou and I? Our vernal

Brightness keeping,

Time outleaping;

Passed the hodiernal!