I wayed by star and planet shine
Towards the dear one's home
At Kingsbere, there to make her mine
When the next sun upclomb.
I edged the ancient hill and wood
Beside the Ikling Way,
Nigh where the Pagan temple stood
In the world's earlier day.
And as I quick and quicker walked
On gravel and on green,
I sang to sky, and tree, or talked
Of her I called my queen.
- "O faultless is her dainty form,
And luminous her mind;
She is the God-created norm
Of perfect womankind!"
A shape whereon one star-blink gleamed
Glode softly by my side,
A woman's; and her motion seemed
The motion of my bride.
And yet methought she'd drawn erstwhile
Adown the ancient leaze,
Where once were pile and peristyle
For men's idolatries.
- "O maiden lithe and lone, what may
Thy name and lineage be,
Who so resemblest by this ray
My darling?--Art thou she?"
The Shape: "Thy bride remains within
Her father's grange and grove."
- "Thou speakest rightly," I broke in,
"Thou art not she I love."
- "Nay: though thy bride remains inside
Her father's walls," said she,
"The one most dear is with thee here,
For thou dost love but me."
Then I: "But she, my only choice,
Is now at Kingsbere Grove?"
Again her soft mysterious voice:
"I am thy only Love."
Thus still she vouched, and still I said,
"O sprite, that cannot be!" . . .
It was as if my bosom bled,
So much she troubled me.
The sprite resumed: "Thou hast transferred
To her dull form awhile
My beauty, fame, and deed, and word,
My gestures and my smile.
"O fatuous man, this truth infer,
Brides are not what they seem;
Thou lovest what thou dreamest her;
I am thy very dream!"
- "O then," I answered miserably,
Speaking as scarce I knew,
"My loved one, I must wed with thee
If what thou say'st be true!"
She, proudly, thinning in the gloom:
"Though, since troth-plight began,
I've ever stood as bride to groom,
I wed no mortal man!"
Thereat she vanished by the Cross
That, entering Kingsbere town,
The two long lanes form, near the fosse
Below the faneless Down.
- When I arrived and met my bride,
Her look was pinched and thin,
As if her soul had shrunk and died,
And left a waste within.
Thomas Hardy's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Well-Beloved by Thomas Hardy )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963)
Edward Kofi Louis
(13th October 1961)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- With A Mask On Your Face, Edward Kofi Louis