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About this Poem 

This poem appeared in Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Macmillan, 1916).

Her Initials

Upon a poet’s page I wrote
Of old two letters of her name;
Part seemed she of the effulgent thought
Whence that high singer’s rapture came.

—When now I turn the leaf the same
Immortal light illumes the lay,
But from the letters of her name
The radiance has waned away!

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.

by this poet

poem

                    I
Queer are the ways of a man I know:
            He comes and stands
            In a careworn craze,
            And looks at the sands
            And the seaward haze
            With moveless hands
            And face and gaze,
            Then turns

poem

I met her, as we had privily planned,
Where passing feet beat busily:
She whispered: "Father is at hand!
       He wished to walk with me."

His presence as he joined us there
Banished our words of warmth away;
We felt, with cloudings of despair,
       What Love must lose

poem

My spirit will not haunt the mound
            Above my breast,
But travel, memory-possessed,
To where my tremulous being found
            Life largest, best.

My phantom-footed shape will go
            When nightfall grays
Hither and thither along the ways
I and