Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
11. Her Dilemma
THE TWO were silent in a sunless church,
  Whose mildewed walls, uneven paving-stones,
And wasted carvings passed antique research;
  And nothing broke the clock’s dull monotones.
Leaning against a wormy poppy-head,        5
  So wan and worn that he could scarcely stand,
—For he was soon to die,—he softly said,
  “Tell me you love me!”—holding hard her hand.
She would have given a world to breathe “yes” truly,
  So much his life seemed hanging on her mind,        10
And hence she lied, her heart persuaded throughly,
  ’Twas worth her soul to be a moment kind.
But the sad need thereof, his nearing death,
  So mocked humanity that she shamed to prize
A world conditioned thus, or care for breath        15
  Where Nature such dilemmas could devise.



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.