During Wind and Rain

Thomas Hardy’s birthplace, Higher Bockhampton, Dorset

During Wind and Rain

“During Wind and Rain” is one of the poems Hardy wrote in 1917 and is believed to have been written in memory of his wife Emma. In this poem Hardy contrasts the happiness of his now dead wife’s childhood with the inevitability of time’s victory. There are four stanzas, and in each stanza there are seven lines which tells different characteristics of Emma’s life with her family. The final lines of each stanza condemn death and decay in life. Click on the title to see annonated links and learn more.

They sing their dearest songs
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat…
Ah, no; the years, the years;
See the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee…
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs…
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Works Cited

Hardy, Thomas, ” During Wind and Rain”.The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume 2. Eighth Edition (2006) : 1972-1973.
Thomas Hardy Home. http://www.dorsetforyou.com/ index.jsp?articleid=330166 ” Online Photograph” December 2nd 2007.

Created by Alex Mwale
Contributer: Greg LaLuna

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