Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, FRIENDS BEYOND, by THOMAS HARDY

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FRIENDS BEYOND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: William dewy, tranter reuben, farmer ledlow late at plough
Last Line: And the squire, and lady susan, murmur mildly to me now.
Subject(s): Death; Friendship; Dead, The

WILLIAM DEWY, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late
at plough,
Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock
churchyard now !

"Gone," I call them, gone for good, that group of local
hearts and heads;
Yet at mothy curfew-tide,
And at midnight when the noon-heat breathes it back
from walls and leads

They've a way of whispering to me -- fellow-wight who
yet abide --
In the muted, measured note
Of a ripple under archways, or a lone cave's stillicide:

"We have triumphed: this achievement turns the bane
to antidote,
Unsuccesses to success,
Many thought-worn eves and morrows to a morrow free
of thought.

"No more need we corn and clothing, feel of old
terrestrial stress;
Chill detraction stirs no sigh;
Fear of death has even bygone us: death gave all that
we possess."

W. D. -- "Ye mid burn the old base-viol that I set such
value by."
Squire -- "You may hold the manse in fee,
You may wed my spouse, may let my children's
memory of me die."

Lady -- "You may nave my rich brocades, my laces;
take each household key;
Ransack coffer, desk, bureau;
Quiz the few poor treasures hid there, con the letters
kept by me."

Far. -- "Ye mid zell my favourite heifer, ye mid let the
charlock grow,
Foul the grinterns, give up thrift."
Wife -- "If ye break my best blue china, children,
I shan't care or ho."

All -- "We've no wish to hear the tidings, how the
people's fortunes shift;
What your daily doings are;
Who are wedded, born, divided; if your lives beat
slow or swift.

"Curious not the least are we if our intents you
make or mar,
If you quire to our old tune,
If the City stage still passes, if the weirs still roar

-- Thus, with very gods' composure, freed those crosses
late and soon
Which in life, the Trine allow
(Why, none witteth), and ignoring all that haps beneath
the moon,

William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough,
Robin's kin, and John's, and Ned's,
And the Squire, and Lady Susan, murmur mildly to me now.

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