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Quid Hic Agis? Analysis

Author: Poetry of Thomas Hardy Type: Poetry Views: 642

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When I weekly knew

An ancient pew,

And murmured there

The forms of prayer

And thanks and praise

In the ancient ways,

And heard read out

During August drought

That chapter from Kings

Harvest-time brings;

- How the prophet, broken

By griefs unspoken,

Went heavily away

To fast and to pray,

And, while waiting to die,

The Lord passed by,

And a whirlwind and fire

Drew nigher and nigher,

And a small voice anon

Bade him up and be gone, -

I did not apprehend

As I sat to the end

And watched for her smile

Across the sunned aisle,

That this tale of a seer

Which came once a year

Might, when sands were heaping,

Be like a sweat creeping,

Or in any degree

Bear on her or on me!


When later, by chance

Of circumstance,

It befel me to read

On a hot afternoon

At the lectern there

The selfsame words

As the lesson decreed,

To the gathered few

From the hamlets near -

Folk of flocks and herds

Sitting half aswoon,

Who listened thereto

As women and men

Not overmuch

Concerned at such -

So, like them then,

I did not see

What drought might be

With me, with her,

As the Kalendar

Moved on, and Time

Devoured our prime.


But now, at last,

When our glory has passed,

And there is no smile

From her in the aisle,

But where it once shone

A marble, men say,

With her name thereon

Is discerned to-day;

And spiritless

In the wilderness

I shrink from sight

And desire the night,

(Though, as in old wise,

I might still arise,

Go forth, and stand

And prophesy in the land),

I feel the shake

Of wind and earthquake,

And consuming fire

Nigher and nigher,

And the voice catch clear,

"What doest thou here?"

The Spectator 1916.During the War.


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