Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
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Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
 
1. The Temporary the All
 
 
CHANGE and chancefulness in my flowering youthtime,
Set me sun by sun near to one unchosen;
Wrought us fellowly, and despite divergence,
    Friends interblent us.
 
“Cherish him can I while the true one forthcome—        5
Come the rich fulfiller of my prevision;
Life is roomy yet, and the odds unbounded.”
    So self-communed I.
 
Thwart my wistful way did a damsel saunter,
Fair not fairest, good not best of her feather;        10
“Maiden meet,” held I, “till arise my forefelt
    Wonder of women.”
 
Long a visioned hermitage deep desiring,
Tenements uncouth I was fain to house in;
“Let such lodging be for a breath-while,” thought I,        15
    “Soon a more seemly.
 
“Then, high handiwork will I make my life-deed,
Truth and Light outshow; but the ripe time pending,
Intermissive aim at the thing sufficeth.”
    Thus I … But lo, me!        20
 
Mistress, friend, place, aims to be bettered straightway,
Bettered not has Fate or my hand’s achieving;
Sole the showance those of my onward earth-track—
    Never transcended!
 

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