Thomas Hardy

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

The Coquette, and After (Triolets)


I

For long the cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me
While mine should bear no ache for you;
For, long--the cruel wish!--I knew
How men can feel, and craved to view
My triumph--fated not to be
For long! . . . The cruel wish I knew
That your free heart should ache for me!

II

At last one pays the penalty -
The woman--women always do.
My farce, I found, was tragedy
At last!--One pays the penalty
With interest when one, fancy-free,
Learns love, learns shame . . . Of sinners two
At last ONE pays the penalty -
The woman--women always do!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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