The Old Workman Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Why are you so bent down before your timeA
Old mason Many have not left their primeA
So far behind at your age and can stillB
Stand full upright at willB
He pointed to the mansion front hard byC
And to the stones of the quoin against the skyC
Those upper blocks he said that there you seeD
It was that ruined meD
There stood in the air up to the parapetE
Crowning the corner height the stones as setE
By him ashlar whereon the gales might drumF
For centuries to comeF
I carried them up he said by a ladder thereG
The last was as big a load as I could bearG
But on I heaved and something in my backH
Moved as 'twere with a crackH
So I got crookt I never lost that sprainI
And those who live there walled from wind and rainI
By freestone that I lifted do not knowJ
That my life's ache came soJ
They don't know me or even know my nameK
But good I think it somehow all the sameK
To have kept 'em safe from harm and right and tightL
Though it has broke me quiteL
Yes that I fixed it firm up there I am proudM
Facing the hail and snow and sun and cloudM
And to stand storms for ages beating roundN
When I lie undergroundN

Thomas Hardy


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