Conjecture

A poem by Thomas Hardy

If there were in my kalendar
No Emma, Florence, Mary,
What would be my existence now -
A hermit's? - wanderer's weary? -
How should I live, and how
Near would be death, or far?

Could it have been that other eyes
Might have uplit my highway?
That fond, sad, retrospective sight
Would catch from this dim byway
Prized figures different quite
From those that now arise?

With how strange aspect would there creep
The dawn, the night, the daytime,
If memory were not what it is
In song-time, toil, or pray-time. -
O were it else than this,
I'd pass to pulseless sleep!

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