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Domicilium

Thomas Hardy

 
It faces west, and round the back and sides 
High beeches, bending, hang a veil of boughs, 
And sweep against the roof. Wild honeysucks 
Climb on the walls, and seem to sprout a wish 
(If we may fancy wish of trees and plants) 
To overtop the apple trees hard-by.

Red roses, lilacs, variegated box 
Are there in plenty, and such hardy flowers 
As flourish best untrained. Adjoining these 
Are herbs and esculents; and farther still 
A field; then cottages with trees, and last 
The distant hills and sky.

Behind, the scene is wilder. Heath and furze 
Are everything that seems to grow and thrive 
Upon the uneven ground. A stunted thorn 
Stands here and there, indeed; and from a pit 
An oak uprises, Springing from a seed 
Dropped by some bird a hundred years ago.

In days bygone-- 
Long gone--my father's mother, who is now 
Blest with the blest, would take me out to walk. 
At such a time I once inquired of her 
How looked the spot when first she settled here. 
The answer I remember. 'Fifty years 
Have passed since then, my child, and change has marked 
The face of all things. Yonder garden-plots 
And orchards were uncultivated slopes 
O'ergrown with bramble bushes, furze and thorn: 
That road a narrow path shut in by ferns, 
Which, almost trees, obscured the passers-by.

Our house stood quite alone, and those tall firs 
And beeches were not planted. Snakes and efts 
Swarmed in the summer days, and nightly bats 
Would fly about our bedrooms. Heathcroppers 
Lived on the hills, and were our only friends; 
So wild it was when we first settled here.' 

Added: 25 Feb 2002 | Last Read: 20 Jan 2018 1:29 PM | Viewed: 5544 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/2737/ | Viewed on 20 January 2018.
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