The Colour

A poem by Thomas Hardy

(The following lines are partly made up, partly remembered from a Wessex folk-rhyme)



"What shall I bring you?
Please will white do
Best for your wearing
The long day through?"
" White is for weddings,
Weddings, weddings,
White is for weddings,
And that won't do."

"What shall I bring you?
Please will red do
Best for your wearing
The long day through?"
" Red is for soldiers,
Soldiers, soldiers,
Red is for soldiers,
And that won't do."

"What shall I bring you?
Please will blue do
Best for your wearing
The long day through?"
" Blue is for sailors,
Sailors, sailors,
Blue is for sailors,
And that won't do.

"What shall I bring you?
Please will green do
Best for your wearing
The long day through?"
" Green is for mayings,
Mayings, mayings,
Green is for mayings,
And that won't do."

"What shall I bring you
Then? Will black do
Best for your wearing
The long day through?"
" Black is for mourning,
Mourning, mourning,
Black is for mourning,
And black will do."

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