Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)
In The Vaulted Way
In the vaulted way, where the passage turned
To the shadowy corner that none could see,
You paused for our parting, - plaintively:
Though overnight had come words that burned
My fond frail happiness out of me.
And then I kissed you, - despite my thought
That our spell must end when reflection came
On what you had deemed me, whose one long aim
Had been to serve you; that what I sought
Lay not in a heart that could breathe such blame.
But yet I kissed you: whereon you again
As of old kissed me. Why, why was it so?
Do you cleave to me after that light-tongued blow?
If you scorned me at eventide, how love then?
The thing is dark, Dear. I do not know.
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