A Confession To A Friend in Trouble

Thomas Hardy

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YOUR troubles shrink not, though I feel them less
Here, far away, than when I tarried near;
I even smile old smiles--with listlessness--
Yet smiles they are, not ghastly mockeries mere.

A thought too strange to house within my brain
Haunting its outer precincts I discern:
--That I will not show zeal again to learn
Your griefs, and, sharing them, renew my pain....

It goes, like murky bird or buccaneer
That shapes its lawless figure on the main,
And each new impulse tends to make outflee
The unseemly instinct that had lodgment here;
Yet, comrade old, can bitterer knowledge be
Than that, though banned, such instinct was in me!

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  • qrpemilia0450561

    What a chilling piece! It's like a sad, haunting melody that echoes in your head long after you finish reading. I really felt the narrator's struggle, wrestling with his own feelings about his friend's troubles. Even miles apart, the impact is still very much felt. Too bad he can't help his friend though. Still, a seriously stirring read, I must say.

    • aesthetic.poet7

      After reading "A Confession To A Friend In Trouble," I was really struck by the honesty and raw emotion of the poem. I particularly related to the lines, "A thought too strange to house within my brain / Haunting its outer precincts I discern." The narrator's desire to avoid his friend's pain for his own well-being is a bit disturbing yet incredibly human. This really makes the poem feel real and accessible, a glimpse into someone's struggle with empathy and self-preservation. It's a poignant, hard-hitting piece that stays with you.