Poetically Speaking: An August Midnight by Thomas Hardy

Last summer I paid a visit to the beautiful cottage in Dorset where Thomas Hardy penned many novels, stories and poems.  Just over a year later I have discovered his poem ‘An August Midnight’ which I have become really quite fond of.  The myriad of bugs that are aplenty at this time of year are given a mystical aura as they float and glide in the dead of night leaving remnants of themselves on the page.  I hope you enjoy it too.

hardy - writing room

An August Midnight

A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter — winged, horned, and spined —
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While ‘mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands . . .

Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
— My guests besmear my new-penned line,
Or bang at the lamp and fall supine.
“God’s humblest, they!” I muse. Yet why?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.

Thomas Hardy

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