How unreal Insensate Would this life be Without words Sterile Without the sounds to sing my feelings The joy of Tongue Touched by language Threaded through thought Expressed In silken sound Tempered by the vernacular Enriched by our true poets
Sounds of the lover’s Throbbing pleasure Silken sounds Of the singer of songs Soulful sensuous That’s what it’s all about, Alfie.
Living life Loses meaning Is unreal Without The thrall of words In trusted tomes Found fables and The lust for legend Joy discovered In mildewed texts Throbbing with Sound Sense And feeling
There is sadness, but with a quiet acceptance, in Hardy’s recall of the optimism of his ‘heydays’. He has come to an accommodation with old age. long life and a resignation which will take him content into his everlasting ‘slumber’.
Regret not me; Beneath the sunny tree I lie uncaring, slumbering peacefully.
Swift as the light I flew my faery flight; Ecstatically I moved, and feared no night.
I did not know That heydays fade and go, But deemed that what was would be always so.
I skipped at morn Between the yellowing corn, Thinking it good and glorious to be born.
I ran at eves Among the piled-up sheaves, Dreaming, “I grieve not, therefore nothing grieves.”
Now soon will come The apple, pear, and plum And hinds will sing, and autumn insects hum.
Again you will fare To cider-makings rare, And junketings; but I shall not be there.
Yet gaily sing Until the pewter ring Those songs we sang when we went gipsying.
And lightly dance Some triple-timed romance In coupled figures, and forget mischance;
And mourn not me Beneath the yellowing tree; For I shall mind not, slumbering peacefully
‘Thomas Hardy’ (1840-1928) by Walter William Ouless (National Portrait Gallery)
Readers may find it interesting to compare and contrast the lyrics of the classic Edith Piaf song . . .