Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Departure (Southampton Docks: October, 1899) - Poem by Thomas Hardy

While the far farewell music thins and fails,
And the broad bottoms rip the bearing brine -
All smalling slowly to the gray sea line -
And each significant red smoke-shaft pales,

Keen sense of severance everywhere prevails,
Which shapes the late long tramp of mounting men
To seeming words that ask and ask again:
"How long, O striving Teutons, Slavs, and Gaels

Must your wroth reasonings trade on lives like these,
That are as puppets in a playing hand? -
When shall the saner softer polities
Whereof we dream, have play in each proud land,
And patriotism, grown Godlike, scorn to stand
Bondslave to realms, but circle earth and seas?"


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Read poems about / on: farewell, music, red, dream, sea, october



Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003



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