Thomas Hardy

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

"I Said To Love" - Poem by Thomas Hardy

I said to Love,
"It is not now as in old days
When men adored thee and thy ways
   All else above;
Named thee the Boy, the Bright, the One
Who spread a heaven beneath the sun,"
   I said to Love.

   I said to him,
"We now know more of thee than then;
We were but weak in judgment when,
   With hearts abrim,
We clamoured thee that thou would'st please
Inflict on us thine agonies,"
   I said to him.

   I said to Love,
"Thou art not young, thou art not fair,
No faery darts, no cherub air,
   Nor swan, nor dove
Are thine; but features pitiless,
And iron daggers of distress,"
   I said to Love.

   "Depart then, Love! . . .
- Man's race shall end, dost threaten thou?
The age to come the man of now
   Know nothing of? -
We fear not such a threat from thee;
We are too old in apathy!
Mankind shall cease.--So let it be,"
   I said to Love.

Comments about "I Said To Love" by Thomas Hardy

  • Karoline Seymour (2/28/2016 6:21:00 PM)

    ahh but to love thy heart is to love thee fully. I am in aww of this amazing writer and poet whom I studied for years while I too have written much.. (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ramesh T A (1/12/2016 12:58:00 AM)

    A notated novelist Hardy who has shown his wisdom in this poem is a wonder to read this poem that spreads the message of love to the world! (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/12/2016 12:55:00 AM)

    Love is blind...... They call for love..nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • Charity Nduhiu (9/18/2015 8:15:00 AM)

    The age to come the man of now know nothing of? wonderful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rajesh Thankappan (3/29/2015 7:12:00 AM)

    Love undoubtedly spreads a heaven under the sun however stoutly we may deny it. However coming back to the poem, though Hardy speaks on behalf of humanity, his words are relevant to those who have met disappointment in love. Any way this is a lovely poem on love that reinforces the fact that love though is a sweetie it has in it the potential to make us teary. (Report) Reply

  • Karan Pratap Singh (1/12/2015 11:55:00 AM)

    Is the poem written on fraternity or about the lady love of his life. I'm just confuse. (Report) Reply

    (2/18/2015 10:05:00 AM)

    You want a love poem come read up true love poem here

  • (1/12/2015 7:08:00 AM)

    Is he referring to love in masculine form - 'I said to him...' I'm not certain how to take this poem. Subjecting it to my own experiences and philosophy I think he is saying that once - long ago - we were smitten with the idea of love - but in the end we discovered that it brings only eventual tragedy. And so I agree, and feel it was written beautifully. Life is certainly beautiful and could be filled with love - but falls short. Death, illness, pain, poverty - all things that saturate our world. Of these only poverty can be cured with love. (Report) Reply

  • Jafta Maduna (1/12/2015 4:37:00 AM)

    thou thee still considers those of the world thee will always be number one (Report) Reply

  • Paul Reed (1/12/2015 3:15:00 AM)

    ....with hearts abrim... Great line (Report) Reply

  • (7/5/2014 10:17:00 AM)

    A beautiful on love it is very interesting. (Report) Reply

  • Savin (6/2/2014 1:08:00 PM)

    Happy birthday, Thomas! I love your poems and in particular this one:
    We are too old in apathy!
    Mankind shall cease.- So let it be,
    I said to Love.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/12/2014 3:16:00 PM)

    I feel with you old pal! ! ! if u hadn't written this poem, i would have! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (1/12/2014 9:53:00 AM)

    A Very interesting poem. Poet has definitely grown out of young love. But in his exhaustion the end of love would be the end of Humanity is an idea he is willing to surrender to. May be Test tube babies will save the world for him! (Report) Reply

  • (1/12/2014 7:06:00 AM)

    .......not sure but sounds like he gave up on love
    i like this stanza
    ~I said to Love,
    It is not now as in old days
    When men adored thee and thy ways
    All else above;
    Named thee the Boy, the Bright, the One
    Who spread a heaven beneath the sun,
    I said to Love. ~
    (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (1/12/2014 2:21:00 AM)

    And love said to the defiant man
    Save your logic from me if you can
    I have ways and means to get you
    Break your heart and then feel blue........

    I welcome all ye poets reading this to my page too
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/24/2013 1:06:00 AM)

    Reading this poem has evoked two interpretations in my mind.

    # One will be clear if you just see love as romantic love. The poet can be seen giving a retort to love that has set man blind in his youth. Even though it is all agony, it's rosiness attracted man whose heart was abrim. But in his wiser state, the man has realised that love is no youngster, but just a charmer. And thus rejects love.

    # Two. On a different note, which I believe is more relevant, the poet is reflecting upon the loss of human faith in love and kindness. He says that the modern man sees the ancients as week. The modern man is too old in apathy! . He is walking to his own demise. All the love is lost and mankind is coming to an end. Personified Love is asked to let it be! - This reading, I believe, reflects the conditions under which Hardy wrote his poems much more sincerely than the other one.

    (Report) Reply

  • (11/9/2013 8:13:00 PM)

    Apparently love can't fool Thomas Hardy... great one (Report) Reply

  • (1/12/2010 9:50:00 PM)

    i agree with Kevin....

    this is like about a broken hearted Thomas.....and that he hates LOVE....
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/12/2010 2:30:00 PM)

    'Apostrophe to Eros' might well sum up Hardy's use of personification and rhythm to stress that irony is not necessary nor is 'a temporary personal setback' the sole motivation for the poem's creation. The speaker is NOT Thomas Hardy, but is the persona through whom he speaks. Why not read and appreciate Hardy's skill in writing such a poem that expresses a universal human condition?

    The opening stanza alludes to the ancient myth of Cupid, always depicted as a boy with bow and arrow who released arrows of love that 'spread a heaven beneath the sun'! Second stanza cautions Eros that nowadays we earthlings know better than to surrender to your wiles. We were babes in arms then! Look at us today, all full of irony! Third stanza cites the imposter who disguises himself as a gentle boy to be a monster that tears the heart out of its victims! Final stanza orders the false god who threatens destruction to depart forever - the speaker is too old and cynical (and full of irony) to fall for such guff! So we die! So what!
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (1/12/2010 5:45:00 AM)

    We must take with a degree of irony the poets assumption to speak for all humanity on the basis of what must be a personal and, probably, temporary personal setback on the road of love. Hardy is not the only one to have cried out: 'To Hell with love', when a relationship breaks up, it eases the pain but is not sincerely meant. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: fear, heaven, love, sun

Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003

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