By Thomas Hardy (1840-1928 )
Ah, are you digging on my grave
My loved one? planting rue?
''No: yesterday he went to wed
One of the brightest wealth has bred.
"It cannot hurt her now", he said,
"That I should not be true."
Then who is digging on my grave?
My nearest dearest kin?
Ah, no; they sit and think, "What use!
What good will planting flowers produce?
No tendance of her mound can loose
Her spirit from Death's gin."
But some one digs upon my grave?
My enemy? prodding sly?
''Nay: when she heard you had passed the Gate
That shuts on all flesh soon or late,
She thought you no more worth her hate,
And cares not where you lie."
Then, who is digging on my grave?
Say since I have not guessed !
''O it is I, my mistress dear,
Your little dog, who still lives near,
And much I hope my movements here
Have not disturbed your rest?"
Ah, yes! You dig upon my grave . . .
Why flashed it not on me
That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity !
"Mistress, I dug upon your grave
To bury a bone,
in caseI should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
am sorry, but I quite forgot
It was your resting-place."
Ah well. A bit twisted, but perhaps more true than we'd like to think! Thomas Hardy certainly had a wry way of looking at people and their efforts anyway. And yet two of his books, Return of the Native and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, are still among my most favorite books. Perhaps because he saw so keenly into the human heart and the vanity of our hopes?