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

40. To a Lady

NOW that my page upcloses, doomed, maybe,

Never to press thy cosy cushions more,

Or wake thy ready Yeas as heretofore,

Or stir thy gentle vows of faith in me:

Knowing thy natural receptivity,

I figure that, as flambeaux banish eve,

My sombre image, warped by insidious heave

Of those less forthright, must lose place in thee.

So be it. I have borne such. Let thy dreams

Of me and mine diminish day by day,

And yield their space to shine of smugger things;

Till I shape to thee but in fitful gleams,

And then in far and feeble visitings,

And then surcease. Truth will be truth alway.