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

41. To an Orphan Child

AH, child, thou art but half thy darling mother’s;

Hers couldst thou wholly be,

My light in thee would outglow all in others;

She would relive to me.

But niggard Nature’s trick of birth

Bars, lest she overjoy,

Renewal of the loved on earth

Save with alloy.

The Dame has no regard, alas, my maiden,

For love and loss like mine—

No sympathy with mind-sight memory-laden;

Only with fickle eyne.

To her mechanic artistry

My dreams are all unknown,

And why I wish that thou couldst be

But One’s alone!