I Look Into My Glass by Thomas Hardy

I Look Into My Glass

I look into my glass,

And view my wasting skin,

And say, “Would God it came to pass

My heart had shrunk as thin!”


For then, I, undistrest

By hearts grown cold to me,

Could lonely wait my endless rest

With equanimity.


But Time, to make me grieve,

Part steals, lets part abide;

And shakes this fragile frame at eve

With throbbings of noontide.

Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)


I first read this poem in A-level Lit Crit class. It made me sad then so you can imagine how depressing I find it now. Fifty this year, and I’m looking forward to it (I love birthdays), but I’ve thought about my health much more of late. It may have something to do with have a partner who is twenty one years younger – yes, 21 years.

I often think about how when I am truly old, say eighty, he will still be a young man (if you’re in your twenties, reading this and puzzled, I assure you that when you’re fifty, fifty nine will seem young to you) and I’m hoping I will be healthy during our time together.

Anyway, Don gets annoyed when I talk about how I will probably die before him. Well, I probably will, and, truthfully, I don’t want to be around when he becomes an old man because he’s already such a bossy boots, I suspect it will only get worse as he gets older.

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