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Humanities Libertexts

10.3: Drummer Hodge

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  • Thomas Hardy


    They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
    Uncoffined – just as found:
    His landmark is a kopje-crest[1]
    That breaks the veldt[2] 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[3],
    The Bush, the dusty loam,
    And why uprose to nightly view
    Strange stars amid the gloam.


    Yet portion of that unknown plain
    Will Hodge forever be;
    His homely Northern breast and brain
    Grow to some Southern tree,
    And strange-eyed constellations reign
    His stars eternally.

    — 1901


    1. Afrikaans for "small hill." 
    2. South African grassland. 
    3. Semi-desert region of South Africa. 
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