[Portable Poetry ...poems for your pocket]

HOME

POEMS

CREATE

STUFF

ABOUT

[The book printer - Amman]

Thomas Hardy : The Dead Man Walking

They hail me as one living,
	But don’t they know
That I have died of late years,
	Untombed although?

I am but a shape that stands here,
	A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
	Ashes gone cold.

Not at a minute’s warning,
	Not in a loud hour,
For me ceased Time’s enchantments
	In hall and bower.

There was no tragic transit,
	No catch of breath,
When silent seasons inched me
	On to this death. . . .

—A Troubadour-youth I rambled
	With Life for lyre,
The beats of being raging
	In me like a fire.

But when I practised eyeing
	The goal of men,
It iced me, and I perished
	A little then.

When passed my friend, my kinsfolk
	Through the last Door,
And left me standing bleakly,
	I died yet more;

And when my Love’s heart kindled
	In hate of me,
Wherefore I knew not, died I
	One more degree.

And if when I died fully
	I cannot say,
And changed into the corpse-thing
	I am to-day.

Yet is it that, though whiling
	The time somehow
In walking, talking, smiling,
	I live not now. 

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)	1899

 
FOOTNOTES
 

If you came here from the main Poems page, the BACK button on your web browser will bring you back there


 

Note 1: When we convert poems to HTML (WEB) format for viewing here, some modifications may occur to the formatting (e.g. indenting) - all poems are correctly formatted for print.

Note 2: if you came to this page following a search engine query, you can find the Portable Poetry home page at www.portablepoetry.com.

Note 3: Feel free to copy these poems and footnotes for your personal and private use. For other uses please get in touch with us first. This poem is believed to be in the public domain. All footnotes are copyright Portable Poetry.