Page 38 - catalogue 230117
P. 38
From Satires of Circumstance – published 1914.

The ten hours light is abating,
And a late bird wings across,

Where the pines, like waltzers waiting,
Give their black heads a toss.

Beech leaves, that yellow the noon-time,
Float past like specks in the eye;

I set every tree in my June time,
And now they obscure the sky.

And the children who ramble through here
Conceive that there never has been

A time when no tall trees grew here,
That none will in time be seen.

The children, seen walking home from school across the tree-covered “Egdon
Heath”, cannot imagine that landscape without trees. Hardy's very first poem
“Domicilium” recalls his grandmother's description of the heath as it was forty
years before his birth:

“Our house stood quite alone, and those tall firs
and beeches were not planted.”

The poem ends:

Heathcroppers
Lived on the hill, and were our only friends
So wild it was when first we settled here.

The heathcroppers were wild ponies.
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