"... Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew / And I was unaware."

British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy stopped writing novels after Jude the Obscure (1895) and focused his attention on poetry. Shown below is a draft of one of his more famous poems, here entitled "By the Century's Deathbed" but better known as "The Darkling Thrush." In this draft, probably written ca. 1899-1900, Hardy's choice of words differs considerably from the final published version of the poem, especially in the first and third stanzas. For the text of the published poem, see this version from the Academy of American Poets.

The poem first appeared as "By the Century’s Deathbed" in the London Graphic on Dec. 29, 1900. It was later collected in Poems of the Past and Present(Harper, 1901) as '"The Darkling Thrush."

A draft of Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush," here entitled "By the Century's Deathbed" (MA 5078).

For more information about this manuscript, click here.

The Leon Levy Foundation is generously underwriting a major project to upgrade catalog records for the Morgan's collection of literary and historical manuscripts. The project is the most substantive effort to date to improve primary research information on a portion of this large and highly important collection.

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