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A Poem by Thomas Hardy: A Wife in London

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A Wife in London

<i>December 1899</i>


She sits in the tawny vapour
That the Thames-side lanes have uprolled,
Behind whose webby fold-on-fold
Like a waning taper
The street-lamp glimmers cold.

A messenger’s knock cracks smartly,
Flashed news in her hand
Of meaning it dazes to understand
Though shaped so shortly:
He–he has fallen–in the far South Land…


‘Tis the morrow; the fog hangs thicker,
The postman nears and goes:
A letter is brought whose lines disclose
By the firelight flicker
His hand, whom the worm now knows:

Fresh–firm–penned in highest feather–
Page-full of his hoped return,
And of home-planned jaunts of brake and burn
In the summer weather,
And of new love that they would learn.


Thomas Hardy

statue of Thomas Hardy in dorchester town dorset

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