Sunday Poetry – Thomas Hardy

This is a late poem by Hardy, written in 1927. The speaker is looking back to a time when he still had the energy to climb a hill to look at the moon rise. It’s melancholy but with a touch of humour at the disadvantages of age.

We used to go to Froom-hill Barrow,
To see the round moon rise
Into the heath-rimmed skies,
Trudging thither by plough and harrow
Up the pathway, steep and narrow,
Singing a song.
Now we do not go there. Why?
Zest burns not so high!

Latterly we’ve only conned her
With a passing glance
From window or door by chance,
Hoping to go again, high yonder,
As we used, and gaze, and ponder,
Singing a song.
Thitherward we do not go:
Feet once quick are slow!

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