Thomas Hardy

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

Thoughts of Phena


at news of her death

Not a line of her writing have I
Not a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
I may picture her there;
And in vain do I urge my unsight
To conceive my lost prize
At her close, whom I knew when her dreams were upbrimming with light
And with laughter her eyes.

What scenes spread around her last days,
Sad, shining, or dim?
Did her gifts and compassions enray and enarch her sweet ways
With an aureate nimb?
Or did life-light decline from her years,
And mischances control
Her full day-star; unease, or regret, or forebodings, or fears
Disennoble her soul?

Thus I do but the phantom retain
Of the maiden of yore
As my relic; yet haply the best of her--fined in my brain
It may be the more
That no line of her writing have I,
Nor a thread of her hair,
No mark of her late time as dame in her dwelling, whereby
I may picture her there.

March 1890.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: hair, laughter, star, sad, lost, light, death, time, life, dream, fear

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Thoughts of Phena by Thomas Hardy )

Enter the verification code :

  • Bryan Baker (11/15/2012 11:27:00 PM)

    It is a sad story if true that lies behind this work, that following a five-year courtship with the subject of the poem and just as they were set to be married Hardy discovered that the two were cousins, which according to the mores and practices of the day would have marked the marriage as incestuous. They immediately broke off the engagement and never saw each other again. Years later, when Hardy learned of her death, he wrote this wonderful poem about memory, love, loss, and regret. (Report) Reply

  • Daphne Grant (3/20/2006 4:00:00 PM)

    Regrets at her passing, and he with no photo, no news of her last days. Only the distant memories of her when younger and beautiful. Who has not bee there? (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

New Poems

  1. A Good Heart Needs No Book Smarts, Curtlan Popo
  2. Allowing Sweetened Romance, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Wonder, shafeeqrahman rahman
  4. Disguised, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Shuffling, ramesh rai
  6. Clouds., Harold R Hunt Sr
  7. The whooper, Harold R Hunt Sr
  8. The flood., Harold R Hunt Sr
  9. I can't sleep at night., Harold R Hunt Sr
  10. Matter Has No Matter, Curtlan Popo

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. The Rider, Naomi Shihab Nye
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  10. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]