Drummer Hodge by Thomas Hardy


"Thomas Hardy," oil on panel, by the...

“Thomas Hardy,” oil on panel, by the Scottish painter and engraver William Strang. 17 in. x 15 in. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)






They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest


Uncoffined — just as found:


His landmark is a kopje-crest


That breaks the veldt around:


And foreign constellations west


Each night above his mound.




Young Hodge the drummer never knew —


Fresh from his Wessex home —


The meaning of the broad Karoo,


The Bush, the dusty loam,


And why uprose to nightly view


Strange stars amid the gloam.




Yet portion of that unknown plain


Will Hodge for ever be;


His homely Northern breast and brain


Grow to some Southern tree,


And strange-eyed constellations reign


His stars eternally.




Thomas Hardy



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