James Michael Dorsey 8:56 p.m., April 22
Yes: now the boiling ball is gone
Three poems by Thomas Hardy
An August Midnight
- A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
- And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
- On this scene enter — winged, horned, and spined —
- A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
- While ’mid my page there idly stands
- A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .
- Thus meet we five, in this still place,
- At this point of time, at this point in space.
- — My guests parade my new-penned ink,
- Or bang at the lamp-glass, whirl, and sink.
- “God’s humblest, they!” I muse. Yet why?
- They know Earth-secrets that know not I.
The Sun on the Bookcase
- Once more the cauldron of the sun
- Smears the bookcase with winy red,
- And here my page is, and there my bed,
- And the apple-tree shadows travel along.
- Soon their intangible track will be run,
- And dusk grow strong
- And they have fled.
- Yes: now the boiling ball is gone,
- And I have wasted another day….
- But wasted-wasted, do I say?
- Is it a waste to have imagined one
- Beyond the hills there, who, anon,
- My great deeds done,
- Will be mine alway?
The Woman in the Rye
- ‘Why do you stand in the dripping rye,
- Cold-lipped, unconscious, wet to the knee,
- When there are firesides near?’ said I.
- ‘I told him I wished him dead,’ said she.
- ‘Yea, cried it in my haste to one
- Whom I had loved, whom I well loved still;
- And die he did. And I hate the sun,
- And stand here lonely, aching, chill;
- ‘Stand waiting, waiting under skies
- That blow reproach, the while I see
- The rooks sheer off to where he lies
- Wrapt in a peace withheld from me.’