Thomas Hardy

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

Long Plighted


Is it worth while, dear, now,
To call for bells, and sally forth arrayed
For marriage-rites -- discussed, decried, delayed
   So many years?

   Is it worth while, dear, now,
To stir desire for old fond purposings,
By feints that Time still serves for dallyings,
   Though quittance nears?

   Is it worth while, dear, when
The day being so far spent, so low the sun,
The undone thing will soon be as the done,
   And smiles as tears?

   Is it worth while, dear, when
Our cheeks are worn, our early brown is gray;
When, meet or part we, none says yea or nay,
   Or heeds, or cares?

   Is it worth while, dear, since
We still can climb old Yell'ham's wooded mounds
Together, as each season steals its rounds
   And disappears?

   Is it worth while, dear, since
As mates in Mellstock churchyard we can lie,
Till the last crash of all things low and high
   Shall end the spheres?

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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