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The Clock of the Years (1935) Op. 15

Part of a series or song cycle:

Earth and Air and Rain (Op. 15)

The Clock of the Years

‘A spirit passed before my face: the hair of my flesh stood up.’
And the spirit said,
‘I can make the clock of the years go backward,
But am loth to stop it where you will.’
And I cried, ‘Agreed
To that. Proceed:
It’s better than dead!’
He answered, ‘Peace;’
And called her up—as last before me;
Then younger, younger she grew, to the year
I first had known
Her women-grown
And I cried, ‘Cease!—
‘Thus far is good—
It is enough—let her stay thus always!’
But alas for me—He shook his head:
No stop was there;
And she waned child-fair,
And to babyhood.
Still less in mien
To my great sorrow became she slowly,
And smalled till she was nought at all
In his checkless griff;
And it was as if
She had never been.
‘Better,’ I plained,
‘She were dead as before! The memory of her
Had lived in me; but it cannot now!’
And coldly his voice:
‘It was your choice
To mar the ordained.’

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Gerald Raphael Finzi was a British composer. He is best known as a choral composer, but also wrote in other genres.

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Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. He was highly critical of much in Victorian society, especially on the declining status of rural people in Britain, such as those from his native South West England.

While Hardy wrote poetry throughout his life and regarded himself primarily as a poet, his first collection was not published until 1898. Initially, therefore, he gained fame as the author of such novels as Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). During his lifetime, Hardy's poetry was acclaimed by younger poets (particularly the Georgians) who viewed him as a mentor. After his death his poems were lauded by Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden and Philip Larkin.

Read some of his poetry here. You can browse, read, and download his novels for free here on Gutenberg Press. If you prefer listening to audiobooks, you can find his books read aloud for free here, on Librivox.

Taken from Wikipedia. To read the full article, please click here.

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