The Slow Nature

(an Incident of Froom Valley)

  "THY husband--poor, poor Heart!--is dead--
  Dead, out by Moreford Rise;
  A bull escaped the barton-shed,
  Gored him, and there he lies!"

  --"Ha, ha--go away! 'Tis a tale, methink,
  Thou joker Kit!" laughed she.
  "I've known thee many a year, Kit Twink,
  And ever hast thou fooled me!"

  --"But, Mistress Damon--I can swear
  Thy goodman John is dead!
  And soon th'lt hear their feet who bear
  His body to his bed."

  So unwontedly sad was the merry man's face--
  That face which had long deceived--
  That she gazed and gazed; and then could trace
  The truth there; and she believed.

  She laid a hand on the dresser-ledge,
  And scanned far Egdon-side;
  And stood; and you heard the wind-swept sedge
  And the rippling Froom; till she cried:

  "O my chamber's untidied, unmade my bed,
  Though the day has begun to wear!
  'What a slovenly hussif!' it will be said,
  When they all go up my stair!"

  She disappeared; and the joker stood
  Depressed by his neighbor's doom,
  And amazed that a wife struck to widowhood
  Thought first of her unkempt room.

  But a fortnight thence she could take no food,
  And she pined in a slow decay;
  While Kit soon lost his mournful mood
  And laughed in his ancient way.

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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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"The Slow Nature" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/36562/the-slow-nature>.

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