THE POETRY ARCHIVES @ eMule.com PRINT CLOSE

The Change
by Thomas Hardy

Out of the past there rises a week -
Who shall read the years O! -
Out of the past there rises a week
Enringed with a purple zone.
Out of the past there rises a week
When thoughts were strung too thick to speak,
And the magic of its lineaments remains with me alone.

In that week there was heard a singing -
Who shall spell the years, the years! -
In that week there was heard a singing,
And the white owl wondered why.
In that week, yea, a voice was ringing,
And forth from the casement were candles flinging
Radiance that fell on the deodar and lit up the path thereby.

Could that song have a mocking note? -
Who shall unroll the years O! -
Could that song have a mocking note
To the white owl's sense as it fell?
Could that song have a mocking note
As it trilled out warm from the singer's throat,
And who was the mocker and who the mocked when two felt all was well?

In a tedious trampling crowd yet later -
Who shall bare the years, the years! -
In a tedious trampling crowd yet later,
When silvery singings were dumb;
In a crowd uncaring what time might fate her,
Mid murks of night I stood to await her,
And the twanging of iron wheels gave out the signal that she was
come.

She said with a travel-tired smile -
Who shall lift the years O! -
She said with a travel-tired smile,
Half scared by scene so strange;
She said, outworn by mile on mile,
The blurred lamps wanning her face the while,
"O Love, I am here; I am with you!" . . . Ah, that there should have
come a change!

O the doom by someone spoken -
Who shall unseal the years, the years! -
O the doom that gave no token,
When nothing of bale saw we:
O the doom by someone spoken,
O the heart by someone broken,
The heart whose sweet reverberances are all time leaves to me.

Jan.-Feb. 1913.