The Inconsistent

I say, "She was as good as fair,"
   When standing by her mound;
"Such passing sweetness," I declare,
   "No longer treads the ground."
I say, "What living Love can catch
   Her bloom and bonhomie,
And what in newer maidens match
   Her olden warmth to me!"

- There stands within yon vestry-nook
   Where bonded lovers sign,
Her name upon a faded book
   With one that is not mine.
To him she breathed the tender vow
   She once had breathed to me,
But yet I say, "O love, even now
   Would I had died for thee!"

by Thomas Hardy

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