Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
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Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
 
32. The Ivy-Wife
 
 
I LONGED to love a full-boughed beech
  And be as high as he:
I stretched an arm within his reach,
  And signalled unity.
But with his drip he forced a breach,        5
  And tried to poison me.
 
I gave the grasp of partnership
  To one of other race—
A plane: he barked him strip by strip
  From upper bough to base;        10
And me therewith; for gone my grip,
  My arms could not enlace.
 
In new affection next I strove
  To coll an ash I saw,
And he in trust received my love;        15
  Till with my soft green claw
I cramped and bound him as I wove…
  Such was my love: ha-ha!
 
By this I gained his strength and height
  Without his rivalry.        20
But in my triumph I lost sight
  Of afterhaps. Soon he,
Being bark-bound, flagged, snapped, fell outright,
  And in his fall felled me!
 

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