The Internet Poetry Archive


Thomas Hardy

Though I waste watches framing words to fetter
    Some spirit to mine own in clasp and kiss,
Out of the night there looms a sense 'twere better
    To fail obtaining whom one fails to miss.

For winning love we win the risk of losing,
    And losing love is as one's life were riven;
It cuts like contumely and keen ill-using
    To cede what was superfluously given.

Let me then feel no more the fateful thrilling
    That devastates the love-worn wooer's frame,
The hot ado of fevered hopes, the chilling
    That agonizes disappointed aim!
So may I live no junctive law fulfilling,
    And my heart's table bear no woman's name.

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