At Lulworth Cove a Century Back

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 570. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
2I might have gone, as I have gone this year,
4And Time have placed his finger on me there:
5"You see that man?" -- I might have looked, and said,
6"O yes: I see him. One that boat has brought
8So commonplace a youth calls not my thought."
9"You see that man?" -- "Why yes; I told you; yes:
10Of an idling town-sort; thin; hair brown in hue;
11And as the evening light scants less and less
12He looks up at a star, as many do."
13"You see that man?" -- "Nay, leave me!" then I plead,
15And it grows dark, and I am weary-kneed:
16I have said the third time; yes, that man I see!"
17"Good. That man goes to Rome -- to death, despair;
18And no one notes him now but you and I:
19A hundred years, and the world will follow him there,
20And bend with reverence where his ashes lie."


1] "NOTE. -- In September 1820 Keats, on his way to Rome, landed one day on the Dorset coast, and composed the sonnet, "Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art." The spot of his landing is judged to have been Lulworth Cove." [Hardy's comment.] Back to Line
3] Warmwell Cross: in Dorset, just southeast of Dorchester. Back to Line
7] Saint Alban's Head: headland in Dorset at the southern end of the Isle of Purbeck, just southwest of Swanage. Back to Line
14] vamp across the lea: foot it ("vamp" is a part of a shoe) across the pasture land. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Late Lyrics and Earlier with Many Other Verses (London: Macmillan, 1922): 83-84. H378 L38 1922 Fisher Rare Book Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.