By Thomas Hardy
“I am playing my oldest tunes,” declared she,
“All the old tunes I know,—
Those I learnt ever so long ago.”
—Why she should think just then she’d play them
Silence cloaks like snow.
When I returned from the town at nightfall
Notes continued to pour
As when I had left two hours before:
“It’s the very last time,” she said in closing;
“From now I play no more.”
A few morns onward found her fading,
And, as her life outflew,
I thought of her playing her tunes right through;
And I felt she had known of what was coming,
And wondered how she knew.
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The Convergence of the Twain
In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day
And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the...