They Would Not Come

A poem by Thomas Hardy

I travelled to where in her lifetime
She'd knelt at morning prayer,
To call her up as if there;
But she paid no heed to my suing,
As though her old haunt could win not
A thought from her spirit, or care.

I went where my friend had lectioned
The prophets in high declaim,
That my soul's ear the same
Full tones should catch as aforetime;
But silenced by gear of the Present
Was the voice that once there came!

Where the ocean had sprayed our banquet
I stood, to recall it as then:
The same eluding again!
No vision. Shows contingent
Affrighted it further from me
Even than from my home-den.

When I found them no responders,
But fugitives prone to flee
From where they had used to be,
It vouched I had been led hither
As by night wisps in bogland,
And bruised the heart of me!

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