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

5. At a Bridal

WHEN you paced forth, to wait maternity,

A dream of other offspring held my mind,

Compounded of us twain as Love designed;

Rare forms, that corporate now will never be!

Should I, too, wed as slave to Mode’s decree,

And each thus found apart, of false desire,

A stolid line, whom no high aims will fire

As had fired ours could ever have mingled we;

And, grieved that lives so matched should miscompose,

Each mourn the double waste; and question dare

To the Great Dame whence incarnation flows,

Why those high-purposed children never were:

What will she answer? That she does not care

If the race all such sovereign types unknows.