Fragment

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 482. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
1At last I entered a long dark gallery,
3    Were the bodies of men from far and wide
5    "The sense of waiting here strikes strong;
6Everyone's waiting, waiting, it seems to me;
7    What are you waiting for so long? --
8        What is to happen?" I said.
9"O we are waiting for one called God," said they,
10    "(Though by some the Will, or Force, or Laws;
11    And, vaguely, by some, the Ultimate Cause;)
12Waiting for him to see us before we are clay.
14    "To know what?" questioned I.
15"To know how things have been going on earth and below it:
16    It is clear he must know some day."
17    I thereon asked them why.
18"Since he made us humble pioneers
19Of himself in consciousness of Life's tears,
20It needs no mighty prophecy
21To tell that what he could mindlessly show
22His creatures, he himself will know.
23"By some still close-cowled mystery
24We have reached feeling faster than he,
25But he will overtake us anon,
26    If the world goes on."

Notes

2] Catacomb: recesses holding tombs. Back to Line
4] motion past: "motionless" in 1917. Back to Line
13] There is no blank line in the 1917 version between lines 13-14. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1917
Publication Notes: 
Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses (London: Macmillan, 1917): 174-75. H378 M645 1917 Fisher Rare Book Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: