A Christmas Ghost Story. Poem by Thomas Hardy

A Christmas Ghost Story.

Rating: 2.8

South of the Line, inland from far Durban,
A mouldering soldier lies- your countryman.
Awry and doubled up are his gray bones,
And on the breeze his puzzled phantom moans
Nightly to clear Canopus: 'I would know
By whom and when the All-Earth-gladdening Law
Of Peace, brought in by that Man Crucified,
Was ruled to be inept, and set aside?

And what of logic or of truth appears
In tacking 'Anno Domini' to the years?
Near twenty-hundred livened thus have hied,
But tarries yet the Cause for which He died.'

A Christmas Ghost Story.
Lucy Andrews 27 February 2007

is this a poem about Hardy's agnostic views towards God and religion in general, or does it show him mellowing a little? Please help, am floundering

11 4 Reply
Paul Amrod 28 December 2017

The hard realism lacks in a somewhat more romantic view of Human Nature.

5 1 Reply
Philip Grabowskii 28 December 2017

Wow. This was a new Hardy for me, but it definitely fits into the dark, pessimistic outlook that I have come to expect and love from him.

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* Sunprincess * 14 November 2015

........very nicely penned and rhymes nicely ★

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Susan Williams 28 December 2017

Lucy bring's up a very important question. I cannot answer it- -but the poem can certainly be read both ways. I would rather take it as a man of faith unhappy with mankind for not yielding to love over armed hostility. It is good to write poetry like this- that poses a question of intent and thus cause good readers to dig deeper.

2 1 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 16 December 2021

A wonderful and thought provoking poem. So beautifully crafted.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 01 January 2021

CONGRATULATIONS being the Classic Poem Of The Day.

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Sylvia Frances Chan 01 January 2021

Five *****. So well written. I have enjoyed Thomas Hardy's poem. A bit thought-provoking lines but we all know about Who this is. Great Brilliance!

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Richard Tassinari 29 December 2020

Full of understatement to make his point which I think is a trait of Hardy. Well written.

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Vanidia Ogega 29 December 2020

we have yet to learn and appreciate that sacrifice that was made for us and pass it on. Otherwise, what is the need for us to celebrate Christmas? We have not found the tranquility as we repeat our mistakes time and again.This is a very ingenious poem.

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Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Dorchester / England
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