The Ruined Maid

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 145-46. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
2Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
3And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" --
4"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.
5-- "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
7And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" --
8"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.
10And `thik oon,' and `theäs oon,' and `t'other'; but now
12"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.
14But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
15And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" --
16"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.
17-- "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
18And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
21-- "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
22And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" --
23"My dear -- a raw country girl, such as you be,


1] 'Melia: Emilia. Back to Line
6] digging up with a chisel-like spade.
docks: weeds Back to Line
9] barton: farm Back to Line
11] 'ee: ye. Back to Line
13] bleak: "bleak," in 1903. Back to Line
19] megrims: migraines (severe headaches with nausea). Back to Line
20] One's pretty lively when ruined: "There's an advantage in ruin" in 1903. Back to Line
24] Cannot quite expect that: "Isn't equal to that" in 1903. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Poems of the Past and Present, 2nd edn. (1902 [1901]: London: Macmillan, 1903): 192-94. PR 4741 F03 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.