Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were When you had changed from the one who was all to me, But as at first, when our day was fair. Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then, Standing as when I drew near to the town Where you would wait for me: yes, as I knew you then, Even to the original air-blue gown! Or is it only the breeze, in its listlessness Travelling across the wet mead1 to me here, You being ever dissolved to wan wistlessness, Heard no more again far or near? Thus I; faltering forward, Leaves around me falling, Wind oozing thin through the thorn from norward, And the woman calling.
We stood by a pond that winter day,And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;– They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.Your eyes on me were as eyes that roveOver tedious riddles of years ago;And some words played between us to and froOn which lost the more by our love.The smile on your mouth was the deadest thingAlive enough to have strength to die;And a grin of bitterness swept therebyLike an ominous bird a-wing….Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,And wrings with wrong, have shaped to meYour face, and the God curst sun, and a tree,And a pond edged with grayish leaves.
More poems by Thomas Hardy.