Departure (Southampton Docks: October, 1899)

Thomas Hardy 1840 (Stinsford) – 1928 (Dorchester, Dorset)

While the far farewell music thins and fails,
And the broad bottoms rip the bearing brine -
All smalling slowly to the gray sea line -
And each significant red smoke-shaft pales,

Keen sense of severance everywhere prevails,
Which shapes the late long tramp of mounting men
To seeming words that ask and ask again:
"How long, O striving Teutons, Slavs, and Gaels

Must your wroth reasonings trade on lives like these,
That are as puppets in a playing hand? -
When shall the saner softer polities
Whereof we dream, have play in each proud land,
And patriotism, grown Godlike, scorn to stand
Bondslave to realms, but circle earth and seas?"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was a Scottish Minister, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

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    "Departure (Southampton Docks: October, 1899)" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Nov. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/36354/departure-(southampton-docks:-october,-1899)>.

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