A Procession Of Dead Days

A poem by Thomas Hardy

I see the ghost of a perished day;
I know his face, and the feel of his dawn:
'Twas he who took me far away
To a spot strange and gray:
Look at me, Day, and then pass on,
But come again: yes, come anon!

Enters another into view;
His features are not cold or white,
But rosy as a vein seen through:
Too soon he smiles adieu.
Adieu, O ghost-day of delight;
But come and grace my dying sight.

Enters the day that brought the kiss:
He brought it in his foggy hand
To where the mumbling river is,
And the high clematis;
It lent new colour to the land,
And all the boy within me manned.

Ah, this one. Yes, I know his name,
He is the day that wrought a shine
Even on a precinct common and tame,
As 'twere of purposed aim.
He shows him as a rainbow sign
Of promise made to me and mine.

The next stands forth in his morning clothes,
And yet, despite their misty blue,
They mark no sombre custom-growths
That joyous living loathes,
But a meteor act, that left in its queue
A train of sparks my lifetime through.

I almost tremble at his nod -
This next in train who looks at me
As I were slave, and he were god
Wielding an iron rod.
I close my eyes; yet still is he
In front there, looking mastery.

In the similitude of a nurse
The phantom of the next one comes:
I did not know what better or worse
Chancings might bless or curse
When his original glossed the thrums
Of ivy, bringing that which numbs.

Yes; trees were turning in their sleep
Upon their windy pillows of gray
When he stole in. Silent his creep
On the grassed eastern steep . . .
I shall not soon forget that day,
And what his third hour took away!

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'A Procession Of Dead Days' by Thomas Hardy

comments powered by Disqus