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The To-Be-Forgotten Analysis

Author: poem of Thomas Hardy Type: poem Views: 21

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I heard a small sad sound,

And stood awhile among the tombs around:

"Wherefore, old friends," said I, "are you distrest,

Now, screened from life's unrest?"


--"O not at being here;

But that our future second death is near;

When, with the living, memory of us numbs,

And blank oblivion comes!


"These, our sped ancestry,

Lie here embraced by deeper death than we;

Nor shape nor thought of theirs can you descry

With keenest backward eye.


"They count as quite forgot;

They are as men who have existed not;

Theirs is a loss past loss of fitful breath;

It is the second death.


"We here, as yet, each day

Are blest with dear recall; as yet, can say

We hold in some soul loved continuance

Of shape and voice and glance.


"But what has been will be --

First memory, then oblivion's swallowing sea;

Like men foregone, shall we merge into those

Whose story no one knows.


"For which of us could hope

To show in life that world-awakening scope

Granted the few whose memory none lets die,

But all men magnify?


"We were but Fortune's sport;

Things true, things lovely, things of good report

We neither shunned nor sought ... We see our bourne,

And seeing it we mourn."


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