The Shadow on the Stone – Thomas Hardy poem reading | Jordan Harling Reads


I went by the Druid stone That broods in the garden white and lone, And I stopped and looked at the shifting shadows That at some moments fall thereon From the tree hard by with a rhythmic swing, And they shaped in my imagining To the shade that a well-known head and shoulders Threw there when she was gardening. I thought her behind my back, Yea, her I long had learned to lack, And I said: ‘I am sure you are standing behind me, Though how do you get into this old track?’ And there was no sound but the fall of a leaf As a sad response; and to keep down grief I would not turn my head to discover That there was nothing in my belief. Yet I wanted to look and see That nobody stood at the back of me; But I thought once more: ‘Nay, I’ll not unvision A shape which, somehow, there may be.’ So I went on softly from the glade, And left her behind me throwing her shade, As she were indeed an apparition— My head unturned lest my dream should fade.

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