May 20, 2012

"Are You Digging on My Grave?" by Thomas Hardy

Floor of Westminster Abbey

  "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 case
I should be hungry near this spot
When passing on my daily trot.
I am sorry, but I quite forgot
         It was your resting-place."