by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

After the Fair
Language: English 
 The singers are gone from the Cornmarket-place
       With their broadsheets of rhymes,
 The street rings no longer in treble and bass
       With their skits on the times,
 And the Cross, lately thronged, is a dim naked space
    That but echoes the stammering chimes.

 From Clock-corner steps, as each quarter ding-dongs,
       Away the folk roam
 By the "Hart" and Grey's Bridge into byways and "drongs,"
       Or across the ridged loam;
 The younger ones shrilling the lately heard songs,
    The old saying, "Would we were home."

 The shy-seeming maiden so mute in the fair
       Now rattles and talks,
 And that one who looked the most swaggering there
       Grows sad as she walks,
 And she who seemed eaten by cankering care
    In statuesque sturdiness stalks.

 And midnight clears High Street of all but the ghosts
       Of its buried burghees,
 From the latest far back to those old Roman hosts
       Whose remains one yet sees,
 Who loved, laughed, and fought, hailed their friends, drank their toasts
    At their meeting-times here, just as these!


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 170