16 February 2009

Mellifluous Mondays: A Departure Somehow Sweet

"The Departure Platform"
by Thomas Hardy

We kissed at the barrier; and passing through
She left me, and moment by moment got
Smaller and smaller, until to my view
She was but a spot;

A wee white spot of muslin fluff
That down the diminishing platform bore
Through hustling crowds of gentle and rough
To the carriage door.

Under the lamplight's fitful glowers,
Behind dark groups from far and near,
Whose interests were apart from ours,
She would disappear,

Then show again, till I ceased to see
That flexible form, that nebulous white;
And she who was more than my life to me
Had vanished quite.

We have penned new plans since that fair fond day.
And in season she will appear again--
Perhaps in the same soft white array--
But never as then!

"And why, young man, must eternally fly
A joy you'll repeat, if you love here well?"
O friend, nought happens twice thus; why,
I cannot tell!

Why does the pain of a loss, or even a mere goodbye, seem sometimes sweet to us? Why do we savor it as much as the thrill of acquisition? Perhaps because that moment highlights the worth of the thing lost, and we see its beauty in a more concentrated flash than before.

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