Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Neutral Tones

We stood by a pond that winter day, And the sun was white, as though chidden of God, And a few leaves lay on the starving sod, --They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove Over tedious riddles solved years ago; And some words played between us to and fro - On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing Alive enough to have strength to die; And a grin of bitterness swept thereby Like an ominous bird a-wing . . .

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives, And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree, And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

1867.

-

Thomas Hardy