Thomas Hardy

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

Under the Waterfall


'Whenever I plunge my arm, like this,
In a basin of water, I never miss
The sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day
Fetched back from its thickening shroud of gray.
Hence the only prime
And real love-rhyme
That I know by heart,
And that leaves no smart,
Is the purl of a little valley fall
About three spans wide and two spans tall
Over a table of solid rock,
And into a scoop of the self-same block;
The purl of a runlet that never ceases
In stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peaces;
With a hollow boiling voice it speaks
And has spoken since hills were turfless peaks.'

'And why gives this the only prime
Idea to you of a real love-rhyme?
And why does plunging your arm in a bowl
Full of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?'

'Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone,
Though precisely where none ever has known,
Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized,
And by now with its smoothness opalized,
Is a grinking glass:
For, down that pass
My lover and I
Walked under a sky
Of blue with a leaf-wove awning of green,
In the burn of August, to paint the scene,
And we placed our basket of fruit and wine
By the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine;
And when we had drunk from the glass together,
Arched by the oak-copse from the weather,
I held the vessel to rinse in the fall,
Where it slipped, and it sank, and was past recall,
Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyss
With long bared arms. There the glass still is.
And, as said, if I thrust my arm below
Cold water in a basin or bowl, a throe
From the past awakens a sense of that time,
And the glass we used, and the cascade's rhyme.
The basin seems the pool, and its edge
The hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge,
And the leafy pattern of china-ware
The hanging plants that were bathing there.

'By night, by day, when it shines or lours,
There lies intact that chalice of ours,
And its presence adds to the rhyme of love
Persistently sung by the fall above.
No lip has touched it since his and mine
In turns therefrom sipped lovers' wine.'

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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

Read poems about / on: august, smart, water, weather, spring, together, green, sky, love, night

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 (Under the Waterfall by Thomas Hardy )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Daphne Grant (3/20/2006 3:46:00 PM)

    This a memory to keep,
    When times are growing old
    Your memory will not be the same as this
    But of it's ilk will hold
    For you a blessed memory
    To read when you are old.
    Daphne (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Friendship, Henry David Thoreau
  8. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes
  9. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. joey the junky, Frank Sobolewski
  2. hungry hungry hobo, Frank Sobolewski
  3. Me and Philly, Frank Sobolewski
  4. Adjusted, William Makell
  5. Realisation, hafiz qasim
  6. What does darkness mean to you?, Jeremy Horsford
  7. The Way It Used To Be, Michael P. McParland
  8. A Cigarette's Butt-end, Abu Sufian
  9. PH: Love: Oh Let...!, Brian Johnston
  10. The Sweetness, Michael P. McParland
[Hata Bildir]