We stood by at dawn that blistered day,
And watched the sun turn white, as though
lovers we looked on,
And a few whispers lay on the starving ears,
--They left us fallen from silences, and our happy
Your eyes on me were as eyes that hide
Under tedious accusations that we should have resolved;
And some words you played between the good and
On each side a loss more than our love.
The sick smile on your mouth is the ugliest
Vile enough to halve a woman's strength to live;
And the will of sour apples to hang to the tree
Like luminous signs against grace...
Since then, a few lessons learned from my love,
And words where I too was wrong, have slapped against
Your face, and the cold-lighted sun, and an apple tree
And a dawn remembered with grayish detail.
Neutral Tones by Thomas Hardy from Wessex Poems
We stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though
chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
--They had fallen from an ash, and were
Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and
On which lost the more by our love.
The smile on your mouth was the deadest
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept therby
Like an ominous bird a-wing...
Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped me to
Your face, and the God-crust sun, and a tree
And a pond edged with grayish leaves.