The Youth Who Carried A Light

A poem by Thomas Hardy

I saw him pass as the new day dawned,
Murmuring some musical phrase;
Horses were drinking and floundering in the pond,
And the tired stars thinned their gaze;
Yet these were not the spectacles at all that he conned,
But an inner one, giving out rays.

Such was the thing in his eye, walking there,
The very and visible thing,
A close light, displacing the gray of the morning air,
And the tokens that the dark was taking wing;
And was it not the radiance of a purpose rare
That might ripe to its accomplishing?

What became of that light? I wonder still its fate!
Was it quenched ere its full apogee?
Did it struggle frail and frailer to a beam emaciate?
Did it thrive till matured in verity?
Or did it travel on, to be a new young dreamer's freight,
And thence on infinitely?

1915.

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