A Visit to Thomas Hardy

The Roman road runs by the wall
And Roman shards and remnants lie
Under the turf where dry leaves fall
On leaves long dry.
Bracelet and bowl, and naked bones,
In Resurrection's sad amaze
Staring amid long-buried stones,
Take the sun's gaze.
And here, with talk of times forgot,
The times forgot come back renewed;
Rise Roman shapes above the plot
Their bones endued.
I shut my lids and straightway hear
A Roman voice—it is my host's;
I look, and from his eyes there peer
A Roman ghost's;
In his hand clasp a Roman hand,
In his verse hear the ancient tone
Heard once in accents harsh or bland
By ears now stone.
Time spins back, and a wave of the past
Streams through each idle sense's portal;
And while long little minutes last
I touch the immortal.
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