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Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Under the Waterfall

By Thomas Hardy

'Whenever I plunge my
arm, like this,

In a basin of
water, I never miss

The sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day

Fetched back from its thickening shroud of gray.

Hence the only prime

And real love-rhyme

That I know by heart,

And that leaves no smart,

Is the purl of a little valley fall

About three spans wide and two spans tall

Over a table of solid rock,

And into a scoop of the self-same block;

The purl of a runlet that never ceases

In stir of kingdoms, in wars, in peace;

With a hollow boiling voice it speaks

And has spoken since hills were turfless peaks.'

'And why gives this the only prime

Idea to you of a real love-rhyme?

And why does plunging your arm in a bowl

Full of spring water, bring throbs to your soul?'

'Well, under the fall, in a crease of the stone,

Though precisely where none ever has known,

Jammed darkly, nothing to show how prized,

And by now with its smoothness opalized,

Is a grinking


For, down that pass

My lover and I

Walked under a sky

Of blue with a leaf-wove awning of green,

In the burn of August, to paint the scene,

And we placed our basket of fruit and

By the runlet's rim, where we sat to dine;

And when we had drunk from the glass together,

Arched by the oak-copse from the weather,

I held the vessel to rinse in the fall,

Where it slipped, and it sank, and was past recall,

Though we stooped and plumbed the little abyss

With long bared arms. There the glass still is.

And, as said, if I thrust my arm below

Cold water in a basin or bowl, a throe

From the past awakens a sense of that time,

And the glass we used, and the
cascade's rhyme.

The basin seems the pool, and its edge

The hard smooth face of the brook-side ledge,

And the leafy pattern of china-ware

The hanging plants that were bathing there.

'By night, by day, when it shines or lours,

There lies intact that chalice of ours,

And its presence adds to the rhyme of love

Persistently sung by the fall above.

No lip has touched it since his and mine

In turns there from sipped lovers' wine.'

1 comment:

Timir's said...

inspiring stuff, but bit complicated explaination... under the waterfall sooth lifes great falls and failures,
u can reaaly feel nobody, with presence of every body.. [:)]