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Your Last Drive


Here by the moorway you returned,

And saw the borough lights ahead

That lit your face—all undiscerned

To be in a week the face of the dead,

And you told of the charm of that haloed view

That never again would beam on you.


And on your left you passed the spot

Where eight days later you were to lie,

And be spoken of as one who was not;

Beholding it with a heedless eye

As alien from you, though under its tree

You soon would halt everlastingly.


I drove not with you. . . . Yet had I sat

At your side that eve I should not have seen

That the countenance I was glancing at

Had a last-time look in the flickering sheen,

Nor have read the writing upon your face,

"I go hence soon to my resting-place;


"You may miss me then.  But I shall not know

How many times you visit me there,

Or what your thoughts are, or if you go

There never at all.  And I shall not care.

Should you censure me I shall take no heed

And even your praises no more shall need."


True:  never you'll know.  And you will not mind.

But shall I then slight you because of such?

Dear ghost, in the past did you ever find

The thought "What profit", move me much?

Yet abides the fact, indeed, the same,—

You are past love, praise, indifference, blame.


Thomas Hardy


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