The Marble Tablet

A poem by Thomas Hardy

There it stands, though alas, what a little of her
Shows in its cold white look!
Not her glance, glide, or smile; not a tittle of her
Voice like the purl of a brook;
Not her thoughts, that you read like a book.

It may stand for her once in November
When first she breathed, witless of all;
Or in heavy years she would remember
When circumstance held her in thrall;
Or at last, when she answered her call!

Nothing more. The still marble, date-graven,
Gives all that it can, tersely lined;
That one has at length found the haven
Which every one other will find;
With silence on what shone behind.

St. Juliot: September 8, 1916.

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