Two Poems by Thomas Hardy
[After his wife Emma died, Hardy wrote "She Opened the Door" as a commemoration
of their romance and the natural places which were special to them.
The second poem, "Beeny Cliff," is a remembrance of one such site that
he and Emma had visited, as the poem's subtitle (March 1870-March 1913)
This page created for English 465 by Lisa Howe and Glenn Everett.]
(March 1870-March 1913)
"SHE OPENED THE DOOR"
She opened the door of the West to me,
With its loud sea-lashings,
And cliff-side clashings
Of waters rife with revelry.
She opened the door of Romance to me,
The door from a cell
I had known too well,
Too long, till then, and was fain to flee.
She opened the door of a Love to me,
That passed the wry
As far as the arching blue the lea.
She opens the door of the Past to me,
Its magic lights,
Its heavenly heights,
When forward little is to see!
O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea,
And the woman riding high above with bright hair flapping free--
The woman whom I loved so, and who loyally loved me.
The pale mews plained below us, and the waves seemed far away
In a nether sky, engrossed in saying their ceaseless babbling say,
As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.
A little cloud then cloaked us, and there flew an irised rain,
And the Atlantic dyed its levels with a dull misfeatured stain,
And then the sun burst out again, and purples prinked the main.
--Still in all its chasmal beauty bulks old Beeny to the sky,
And shall she and I not go there once again now March is nigh,
And the sweet things said in that March say anew there by and by?
What if still in chasmal beauty looms that wild weird western shore,
The woman now is-elsewhere-whom the ambling pony bore,
And nor knows nor cares for Beeny, and will laugh there nevermore.
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