I rose up as my custom is On the eve of All-Souls' day, And left my grave for an hour or so To call on those I used to know Before I passed away. I visited my former Love As she lay by her husband's side; I asked her if life pleased her, now She was rid of a poet wrung in brow, And crazed with the ills he eyed; Who used to drag her here and there Wherever his fancies led, And point out pale phantasmal things, And talk of vain vague purposings That she discredited. She was quite civil, and replied, "Old comrade, is that you? Well, on the whole, I like my life. - I know I swore I'd be no wife, But what was I to do? "You see, of all men for my sex A poet is the worst; Women are practical, and they Crave the wherewith to pay their way, And slake their social thirst. "You were a poet--quite the ideal That we all love awhile: But look at this man snoring here - He's no romantic chanticleer, Yet keeps me in good style. "He makes no quest into my thoughts, But a poet wants to know What one has felt from earliest days, Why one thought not in other ways, And one's Loves of long ago." Her words benumbed my fond frail ghost; The nightmares neighed from their stalls The vampires screeched, the harpies flew, And under the dim dawn I withdrew To Death's inviolate halls.
- by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928), "I rose up as my custom is", appears in Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries with Miscellaneous Pieces, first published 1914 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Irwin Heilner (b. 1908), "I rose up as my custom is" [medium voice and piano] [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-01-18
Line count: 40
Word count: 253