In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 511. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
2    In a slow silent walk
3With an old horse that stumbles and nods
4    Half asleep as they stalk.
5Only thin smoke without flame
7Yet this will go onward the same
8    Though Dynasties pass.
10    Come whispering by:
11War's annals will cloud into night
12    Ere their story die.


1] Jer. li. 20. [Hardy's note] "Thou art my battle ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations and with thee will I destroy kingdoms." Hardy confessed that this poem "contains a feeling that moved me in 1870, during the Franco-Prussian war, when I chanced to be looking at such an agricultural incident in Cornwall. But I did not write the verses till during the war with Germany of 1914, and onwards" (Florence E. Hardy, The Life of Thomas Hardy [1967]: 378-79).
The 1917 edition concludes:
("Saturday Review.")
harrowing clods: breaking apart lumps of earth. Back to Line
6] couch-grass: quack grass, a creeping weed. Back to Line
9] wight: man. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
1916; Moments of Vision and Miscellaneous Verses (London: Macmillan, 1917): 232. H378 M645 1917 Fisher Rare Book Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.