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About this Poem 

“He Prefers Her Earthly” was published in Hardy’s book Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses (Macmillan, 1917).

He Prefers Her Earthly

This after-sunset is a sight for seeing,
Cliff-heads of craggy cloud surrounding it.
     —And dwell you in that glory-show?
You may; for there are strange strange things in being,
            Stranger than I know.

Yet if that chasm of splendour claim your presence
Which glows between the ash cloud and the dun,
     How changed must be your mortal mould!
Changed to a firmament-riding earthless essence
            From what you were of old:

All too unlike the fond and fragile creature
Then known to me….Well, shall I say it plain?
     I would not have you thus and there,
But still would grieve on, missing you, still feature
            You as the one you were.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, whose books include Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, was one of the most influentual novelists and poets of England's Victorian era. He died on January 11, 1928.

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Gray prinked with rose,
White tipped with blue,
Shoes with gay hose,
Sleeves of chrome hue;
Fluffed frills of white,
Dark bordered light;
Such shimmerings through
Trees of emerald green are eyed
This afternoon, from the road outside.

They whirl around:
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Forty years—aye, and several more—ago,
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The waves huzza’d like a multitude below, 
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              Without cloy.

Blankly I walked there a double decade after,
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Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
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An elder said as we sat in a flock
    By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
    They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
    To