Four Footprints

A poem by Thomas Hardy

Here are the tracks upon the sand
Where stood last evening she and I -
Pressed heart to heart and hand to hand;
The morning sun has baked them dry.

I kissed her wet face - wet with rain,
For arid grief had burnt up tears,
While reached us as in sleeping pain
The distant gurgling of the weirs.

"I have married him - yes; feel that ring;
'Tis a week ago that he put it on . . .
A dutiful daughter does this thing,
And resignation succeeds anon!

"But that I body and soul was yours
Ere he'd possession, he'll never know.
He's a confident man. 'The husband scores,'
He says, 'in the long run' . . . Now, Dear, go!"

I went. And to-day I pass the spot;
It is only a smart the more to endure;
And she whom I held is as though she were not,
For they have resumed their honeymoon tour.

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