Logs On The Hearth

A poem by Thomas Hardy

A Memory Of A Sister



The fire advances along the log
Of the tree we felled,
Which bloomed and bore striped apples by the peck
Till its last hour of bearing knelled.

The fork that first my hand would reach
And then my foot
In climbings upward inch by inch, lies now
Sawn, sapless, darkening with soot.

Where the bark chars is where, one year,
It was pruned, and bled -
Then overgrew the wound. But now, at last,
Its growings all have stagnated.

My fellow-climber rises dim
From her chilly grave -
Just as she was, her foot near mine on the bending limb,
Laughing, her young brown hand awave.

December 1915.

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