The Subalterns

Thomas Hardy

 

I

"Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky,
     "I fain would lighten thee,
But there are laws in force on high
     Which say it must not be."
     
     
        
          
          

II

--"I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried
     The North, "knew I but how
To warm my breath, to slack my stride;
     But I am ruled as thou."
     
     
        
          
          

III

--"To-morrow I attack thee, wight,"
     Said Sickness. "Yet I swear
I bear thy little ark no spite,
     But am bid enter there."
     
     
        
          
          

IV

--"Come hither, Son," I heard Death say;
     "I did not will a grave
Should end thy pilgrimage to-day,
     But I, too, am a slave!"
     
     
        
          
          

V

We smiled upon each other then,
     And life to me had less
Of that fell look it wore ere when
     They owned their passiveness.
 

Poems by This Author

Afterwards by Thomas Hardy
When the Present has latched its postern behind my
An August Midnight by Thomas Hardy
A shaded lamp and a waving blind
At the Entering of the New Year by Thomas Hardy
Our songs went up and out the chimney
At the Piano by Thomas Hardy
A Woman was playing
Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy
That night your great guns, unawares,
During Wind and Rain by Thomas Hardy
They sing their dearest songs
Hap by Thomas Hardy
If but some vengeful god would call to me
Her Father by Thomas Hardy
I met her, as we had privily planned,
How Great My Grief by Thomas Hardy
How great my grief, my joys how few
I Found Her Out There by Thomas Hardy
I found her out there
In the Garden by Thomas Hardy
We waited for the sun
The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy
In a solitude of the sea
The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy
I leant upon a coppice gate
The Glimpse by Thomas Hardy
She sped through the door
The Going by Thomas Hardy
Why did you give no hint that night
The High-School Lawn by Thomas Hardy
Gray prinked with rose
The Interloper by Thomas Hardy
There are three folk driving in a quaint old chaise
The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy
"Had he and I but met
The Oxen by Thomas Hardy
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock
The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy
"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
The Voice by Thomas Hardy
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
The Year's Awakening by Thomas Hardy
How do you know that the pilgrim track
To A Sea-Cliff by Thomas Hardy


Further Reading

Poems About Illness
Kaddish, Part I
by Allen Ginsberg
A Litany in Time of Plague
by Thomas Nashe
Afternoon at MacDowell
by Jane Kenyon
Against Elegies
by Marilyn Hacker
Anxieties
by Donna Masini
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Bedside
by William Olsen
Breathing
by Josephine Dickinson
Christmas Away from Home
by Jane Kenyon
Cognitive Deficit Market
by Joshua Corey
Evening
by Gail Mazur
Everyone Gasps with Anxiety
by Jeni Olin
Having it Out with Melancholy
by Jane Kenyon
Her Body Like a Lantern Next to Me
by John Rybicki
Hospital Writing Workshop
by Rafael Campo
In Memory of W. B. Yeats
by W. H. Auden
Losing It
by Margaret Gibson
Mastectomy
by Wanda Coleman
Phases
by Michael Redhill
Prayer for Sleep
by Cheryl Dumesnil
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
Sick
by Shel Silverstein
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Nurse
by Michael Blumenthal
The Sick Child
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Sick Rose
by William Blake
The Transparent Man
by Anthony Hecht
The Visit
by Jason Shinder
To Amy Lowell
by Eunice Tietjens
Tubes
by Donald Hall
Units
by Albert Goldbarth
Visits to St. Elizabeths
by Elizabeth Bishop
Waking in the Blue
by Robert Lowell
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
by John Milton