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About this Poem 

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

"My Spirit Will Not Haunt the Mound"

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 another used to know
            In backward days.

And there you’ll find me, if a jot
            You still should care
For me, and for my curious air;
If otherwise, then I shall not,
            For you, be there.

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 leant upon a coppice gate 
    When Frost was spectre-gray,
And Winter's dregs made desolate
    The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
    Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
    Had sought their household fires. 

The land's sharp features seemed to be
    
poem

I

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
     Uncoffined—just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
     That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
     Each night above his mound.
 

II

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew—
     Fresh from his

poem
How do you know that the pilgrim track
Along the belting zodiac
Swept by the sun in his seeming rounds
Is traced by now to the Fishes’ bounds
And into the Ram, when weeks of cloud
Have wrapt the sky in a clammy shroud,
And never as yet a tinct of spring
Has shown in the Earth’s apparelling;
     O vespering bird