'The Peasent's Confession' by Thomas Hardy
AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
"Si le maréchal Grouchy avait été rejoint par l'officier que
Napoléon lui avait expédié la veille à dix heures du soir, toute
question eût disparu. Mais cet officier n'était point parvenu à sa
destination, ainsi que le maréchal n'a cessé de l'affirmer toute sa
vie, et il faut l'en croire, car autrement il n'aurait eu aucune
raison pour hésiter. Cet officier avait-il été pris? avait-il passé à
l'ennemi? C'est ce qu'on a toujours ignoré."
--Thiers: Histoire de l'Empire. "Waterloo."
GOOD Father!... 'Twas an eve in middle June,
And war was waged anew
By great Napoleon, who for years had strewn
Men's bones all Europe through.
Three nights ere this, with columned corps he'd crossed
The Sambre at Charleroi,
To move on Brussels, where the English host
Dallied in Parc and Bois.
The yestertide we'd heard the gloomy gun
Growl through the long-sunned day
From Quatre-Bras and Ligny; till the dun
Twilight suppressed the fray;
Albeit therein--as lated tongues bespoke--
Brunswick's high heart was drained,
And Prussia's Line and Landwehr, though unbroke,
Stood cornered and constrained.
And at next noon-time Grouchy slowly passed
With thirty thousand men:
We hoped thenceforth no army, small or vast,
Would trouble us again.
My hut lay deeply in a vale recessed,
And never a soul seemed nigh
When, reassured at length, we went to rest--
My children, wife, and I.
But what was this that broke our humble ease?
What noise, above the rain,
Above the dripping of the poplar trees
That smote along the pane?
--A call of mastery, bidding me arise,
Compelled me to the door,
At which a horseman stood in martial guise--
Splashed--sweating from every pore.
Had I seen Grouchy? Yes? Which track took he?
Could I lead thither on?--
Fulfilment would ensure gold pieces three,
Perchance more gifts anon.
"I bear the Emperor's mandate," then he said,
"Charging the Marshal straight
To strike between the double host ahead
Ere they co-operate,
"Engaging Blücher till the Emperor put
Lord Wellington to flight,
And next the Prussians. This to set afoot
Is my emprise to-night."
I joined him in the mist; but, pausing, sought
To estimate his say,
Grouchy had made for Wavre; and yet, on thought,
I did not lead that way.
I mused: "If Grouchy thus instructed be,
The clash comes sheer hereon;
My farm is stript. While, as for pieces three,
Money the French have none.
"Grouchy unwarned, moreo'er, the English win,
And mine is left to me--
They buy, not borrow."--Hence did I begin
To lead him treacherously.
By Joidoigne, near to east, as we ondrew,
Dawn pierced the humid air;
And eastward faced I with him, though I knew
Never marched Grouchy there.
Near Ottignies we passed, across the Dyle
(Lim'lette left far aside),
And thence direct toward Pervez and Noville
Through green grain, till he cried:
"I doubt thy conduct, man! no track is here
I doubt they gagèd word!"
Thereat he scowled on me, and pranced me near,
And pricked me with his sword.
"Nay, Captain, hold! We skirt, not trace the course
Of Grouchy," said I then:
"As we go, yonder went he, with his force
Of thirty thousand men."
--At length noon nighed, when west, from Saint-John's-Mound,
A hoarse artillery boomed,
And from Saint-Lambert's upland, chapel-crowned,
The Prussian squadrons loomed.
Then to the wayless wet gray ground he leapt;
"My mission fails!" he cried;
"Too late for Grouchy now to intercept,
For, peasant, you have lied!"
He turned to pistol me. I sprang, and drew
The sabre from his flank,
And 'twixt his nape and shoulder, ere he knew,
I struck, and dead he sank.
I hid him deep in nodding rye and oat--
His shroud green stalks and loam;
His requiem the corn-blade's husky note--
And then I hastened home....
--Two armies writhe in coils of red and blue,
And brass and iron clang
From Goumont, past the front of Waterloo,
To Pap'lotte and Smohain.
The Guard Imperial wavered on the height;
The Emperor's face grew glum;
"I sent," he said, "to Grouchy yesternight,
And yet he does not come!"
'Twas then, Good Father, that the French espied,
Streaking the summer land,
The men of Blücher. But the Emperor cried,
"Grouchy is now at hand!"
And meanwhile Vand'leur, Vivian, Maitland, Kempt,
Met d'Erlon, Friant, Ney;
But Grouchy--mis-sent, blamed, yet blame-exempt--
Grouchy was far away.
Be even, slain or struck, Michel the strong,
Bold Travers, Dnop, Delord,
Smart Guyot, Reil-le, l'Heriter, Friant.
Scattered that champaign o'er.
Fallen likewise wronged Duhesme, and skilled Lobau
Did that red sunset see;
Colbert, Legros, Blancard!... And of the foe
Picton and Ponsonby;
With Gordon, Canning, Blackman, Ompteda,
L'Estrange, Delancey, Packe,
Grose, D'Oyly, Stables, Morice, Howard, Hay,
Von Schwerin, Watzdorf, Boek,
Smith, Phelips, Fuller, Lind, and Battersby,
And hosts of ranksmen round...
Memorials linger yet to speak to thee
Of those that bit the ground!
The Guards' last column yielded; dykes of dead
Lay between vale and ridge,
As, thinned yet closing, faint yet fierce, they sped
In packs to Genappe Bridge.
Safe was my stock; my capple cow unslain;
Intact each cock and hen;
But Grouchy far at Wavre all day had lain,
And thirty thousand men.
O Saints, had I but lost my earing corn
And saved the cause once prized!
O Saints, why such false witness had I borne
When late I'd sympathized!...
So, now, being old, my children eye askance
My slowly dwindling store,
And crave my mite; till, worn with tarriance,
I care for life no more.
To Almighty God henceforth I stand confessed,
And Virgin-Saint Marie;
O Michael, John, and Holy Ones in rest,
Entreat the Lord for me!
Editor 1 Interpretation
The Peasant's Confession: A Deep Dive into Thomas Hardy's Masterpiece
Thomas Hardy was one of the most prominent authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his poetry remains a significant part of the literary canon today. His works often explore themes of social injustice, the human condition, and the complexities of love and desire. In this essay, we will be examining one of Hardy's most celebrated poems, "The Peasant's Confession."
"The Peasant's Confession" tells the story of a farmer who confesses his sins to a priest. The poem is composed of five stanzas, each with four lines. The first two stanzas describe the farmer's confession, while the third and fourth stanzas explore the priest's reaction. The final stanza offers a conclusion to the poem's narrative.
The Farmer's Confession
The poem begins with the farmer confessing his sins to the priest. He reveals that he has been "in the woods with a pretty maid," and that they have engaged in sexual activity. The farmer expresses his guilt and shame, saying that he "never shall know peace again."
This confession is significant not just for the farmer's admission of wrongdoing, but for the way in which he frames it. He speaks in the dialect of a lower-class farmer, emphasizing his lack of education and social standing. This dialect is a hallmark of Hardy's poetry, which often focuses on the struggles of rural people who are marginalized by their lack of access to higher education and social mobility.
The farmer's confession is also notable for its frankness. He is not ashamed to admit that he has had sex with a woman outside of marriage, which was a taboo subject in Victorian England. This honesty is characteristic of Hardy's work, which often challenges the social norms of his time.
The Priest's Reaction
The priest reacts to the farmer's confession with a mixture of shock and disgust. He tells the farmer that he has committed a grave sin, and that he must seek forgiveness from God. The priest also warns the farmer that he must not continue his sinful ways, or he will suffer eternal damnation.
The priest's reaction is interesting because it highlights the power dynamic between the two men. The priest is a figure of authority, and he uses this authority to shame and scare the farmer into repentance. This dynamic reflects the broader power imbalances of Victorian society, in which the upper classes wielded significant influence over the lower classes.
However, the priest's reaction is not entirely unsympathetic. He recognizes that the farmer is genuinely repentant, and he offers him absolution. This moment of mercy is significant because it suggests that the priest recognizes the farmer's humanity, despite his social status and perceived moral failings.
The final stanza of the poem offers a conclusion to the narrative. The farmer thanks the priest for his forgiveness, and he leaves the church feeling renewed. However, the final line of the poem suggests that the farmer's guilt and shame may not disappear entirely: "his sin lay still in his heart's abyss."
This conclusion is significant because it suggests that the farmer's confession has not resolved all of his problems. He may have been absolved of his sin, but he still carries the weight of guilt and shame with him. This reflection on the complexity of human emotion is a hallmark of Hardy's poetry, which often explores the nuances of human experience.
So, what does "The Peasant's Confession" mean? At its core, the poem is a meditation on sin, guilt, and forgiveness. It explores the ways in which individuals grapple with their moral failings, and the role that religion plays in offering absolution.
However, the poem is also about power dynamics and social inequality. The farmer's confession highlights the struggles of rural people who are marginalized by their lack of education and social mobility. The priest's reaction reflects the power imbalances of Victorian society, in which the upper classes wielded significant influence over the lower classes.
Finally, the poem is a reflection on the complexity of human emotion. The farmer's confession and subsequent absolution do not resolve all of his problems. He still carries the weight of guilt and shame with him, suggesting that forgiveness is not a simple solution to moral failings.
In conclusion, "The Peasant's Confession" is a powerful and nuanced exploration of sin, guilt, and forgiveness. Through its exploration of power dynamics, social inequality, and human emotion, the poem offers a deep and insightful commentary on the human condition. As a classic work of literature, it remains relevant and resonant today, reminding us of the enduring power of poetry to capture the complexities of the world around us.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
The Peasant's Confession: A Masterpiece of Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, the renowned English novelist and poet, is known for his realistic portrayal of rural life and the struggles of common people. His poem, The Peasant's Confession, is a masterpiece that captures the essence of rural life and the inner turmoil of a simple peasant. The poem is a confession of a peasant who is haunted by guilt and seeks redemption for his sins. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail, exploring its themes, structure, and literary devices.
The poem begins with the peasant confessing his sins to the priest. He admits that he has committed many sins, including stealing, lying, and cheating. He feels guilty and ashamed of his actions and seeks forgiveness from God. The peasant's confession is a reflection of the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by common people in rural society. The poem highlights the struggle of the poor and the oppressed, who are often forced to resort to unethical means to survive.
The poem is structured in four stanzas, each consisting of six lines. The rhyme scheme is ABABCC, which gives the poem a musical quality. The use of rhyme and rhythm adds to the emotional impact of the poem, making it more powerful and memorable. The poem is written in the first person, which creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy, drawing the reader into the peasant's world.
The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, with the peasant confessing his sins to the priest. He admits that he has stolen food and money, and has lied and cheated to survive. The use of the word "confess" creates a sense of guilt and shame, highlighting the peasant's moral dilemma. The repetition of the word "I" emphasizes the personal nature of the confession, making it more poignant and emotional.
In the second stanza, the peasant reflects on his past and the reasons for his sins. He blames poverty and hunger for his actions, stating that he had no choice but to steal and cheat. The use of the word "starving" creates a sense of desperation and helplessness, highlighting the harsh realities of rural life. The peasant's confession is a reflection of the social and economic conditions of rural society, where poverty and hunger are rampant.
The third stanza is the most emotional and powerful, as the peasant seeks redemption for his sins. He asks for forgiveness from God and promises to repent and change his ways. The use of the word "mercy" creates a sense of hope and faith, highlighting the peasant's belief in the power of forgiveness. The repetition of the word "forgive" emphasizes the peasant's desperation and need for redemption.
The final stanza is a reflection on the peasant's future and the consequences of his sins. He fears that he will be punished for his actions and that his sins will haunt him forever. The use of the word "doom" creates a sense of foreboding and fear, highlighting the peasant's anxiety and uncertainty. The poem ends on a somber note, with the peasant's fate left uncertain.
The Peasant's Confession is a powerful poem that explores the themes of guilt, redemption, and social injustice. The poem highlights the struggles of common people in rural society, who are often forced to resort to unethical means to survive. The use of rhyme and rhythm adds to the emotional impact of the poem, making it more powerful and memorable. The poem is a testament to Thomas Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the essence of rural life and the struggles of common people.
In conclusion, The Peasant's Confession is a masterpiece of Thomas Hardy that captures the essence of rural life and the struggles of common people. The poem is a reflection of the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the poor and the oppressed, who are often forced to resort to unethical means to survive. The use of rhyme and rhythm adds to the emotional impact of the poem, making it more powerful and memorable. The poem is a testament to Thomas Hardy's skill as a poet and his ability to capture the essence of rural life and the struggles of common people.
Editor Recommended SitesLogic Database: Logic databases with reasoning and inference, ontology and taxonomy management
Enterprise Ready: Enterprise readiness guide for cloud, large language models, and AI / ML
Rust Software: Applications written in Rust directory
Open Models: Open source models for large language model fine tuning, and machine learning classification
Data Visualization: Visualization using python seaborn and more
Recommended Similar AnalysisI cannot dance upon my Toes by Emily Dickinson analysis
TO DEATH by Robert Herrick analysis
Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Millay analysis
Under The Moon by William Butler Yeats analysis
Birthplace , The by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Consorting With Angels by Anne Sexton analysis
Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins analysis
Quid Hic Agis? by Thomas Hardy analysis
Seven Sisters, The by William Wordsworth analysis
Holy Sonnet XVII: Since She Whom I Loved by John Donne analysis