A Commonplace Day

By Thomas Hardy

The day is turning ghost,
And scuttles from the kalendar in fits and furtively,
         To join the anonymous host
Of those that throng oblivion; ceding his place, maybe,
         To one of like degree.

         I part the fire-gnawed logs,
Rake forth the embers, spoil the busy flames, and lay the ends
         Upon the shining dogs;
Further and further from the nooks the twilight's stride extends,
         And beamless black impends.

         Nothing of tiniest worth
Have I wrought, pondered, planned; no one thing asking blame or
praise,
         Since the pale corpse-like birth
Of this diurnal unit, bearing blanks in all its rays -
         Dullest of dull-hued Days!

         Wanly upon the panes
The rain slides as have slid since morn my colourless thoughts; and
yet
         Here, while Day's presence wanes,
And over him the sepulchre-lid is slowly lowered and set,
         He wakens my regret.

         Regret--though nothing dear
That I wot of, was toward in the wide world at his prime,
         Or bloomed elsewhere than here,
To die with his decease, and leave a memory sweet, sublime,
         Or mark him out in Time . . .

         --Yet, maybe, in some soul,
In some spot undiscerned on sea or land, some impulse rose,
         Or some intent upstole
Of that enkindling ardency from whose maturer glows
         The world's amendment flows;

         But which, benumbed at birth
By momentary chance or wile, has missed its hope to be
         Embodied on the earth;
And undervoicings of this loss to man's futurity
         May wake regret in me.


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