HIS IMMORTALITY

By Thomas Hardy

        I saw a dead man's finer part
Shining with each faithful heart
Of those bereft. Then said I: "Thus must be
            His immortality."

        I looked there as the seasons wore,
And still his soul continuously bore
A life in theirs. But less its shine excelled
            Than when I first beheld.

        His fellow-yearsman passed, and then
In later hearts I looked for him again;
And found him---shrunk, alas! into a thin
            And spectral mannikin.

        Lastly I ask---now old and chill---
If aught of him remain unperished still;
And find, in me alone, a feeble spark,
            Dying amid the dark.


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