A Broken Appointment: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

Man Sitting on a Log  by Karoly Ferenczy, 1895

Man Sitting on a Log by Karoly Ferenczy, 1895

A Broken Appointment

By Thomas Hardy

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb,—
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
–I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me?

I met this poem in the Norton Anthology of Poetry when I was an undergraduate. I associate it with late nights and reading poetry out loud back and forth with my best friend, Stephanie. Who read this poem to whom? I no longer recall. I’m not sure when this poem has stuck with me so; but there you are.

One Response to A Broken Appointment: Daily Dose of Poetry and Art

  1. Jenny February 27, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I just finished Tess. That book just about killed me. This poem reminds of it. Hardy must have a thing about the futility of waiting.

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