Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)
Before And After Summer
Looking forward to the spring
One puts up with anything.
On this February day,
Though the winds leap down the street,
Wintry scourgings seem but play,
And these later shafts of sleet
- Sharper pointed than the first -
And these later snows - the worst -
Are as a half-transparent blind
Riddled by rays from sun behind.
Shadows of the October pine
Reach into this room of mine:
On the pine there stands a bird;
He is shadowed with the tree.
Mutely perched he bills no word;
Blank as I am even is he.
For those happy suns are past,
Fore-discerned in winter last.
When went by their pleasure, then?
I, alas, perceived not when.
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