Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
‘I need not go’
By Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)
I NEED not go
Through sleet and snow
To where I know
She waits for me;
She will tarry me there        5
Till I find it fair,
And have time to spare
From company.
When I’ve overgot
The world somewhat,        10
When things cost not
Such stress and strain,
Is soon enough
By cypress sough
To tell my Love        15
I am come again.
And if some day,
When none cries nay,
I still delay
To seek her side,        20
(Though ample measure
Of fitting leisure
Await my pleasure)
She will not chide.
What—not upbraid me        25
That I delay’d me,
Nor ask what stay’d me
So long? Ah, no!—
New cares may claim me.
New loves inflame me,        30
She will not blame me,
But suffer it so.

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