Said Yeats’s Bones to Hardy’s Heart...

by Ann Drysdale

Said Yeats’s bones to Hardy’s heart
What matter where we lie?
There'll always be posterity
And horsemen riding by.

Said Hardy’s heart to Yeats’s bones
I'm not disputing that
But you are threatened by a truss
As I am by a cat.

Ah yes, the truss, the bones replied
They say it shows them surely
That I am not myself at all
But someone else entirely.

Said Hardy’s heart, the story goes
They hunted high and low
But what was in the biscuit tin
The world will never know.

However, on the principle,
We two are of a mind—
Muffle the drum and let them come—
To hell with what they find.

They need a place of pilgrimage,
They come in droves to look
And while they’re in the neighbourhood
Perhaps they'll buy a book.

We are where we have always been
And shall be through the ages;
We pressed the flowers of our selves
Between our gathered pages

And those who there seek Tom and Will
Won't care where you or I go—
For I am not in Stinsford Church
And you are not in Sligo.


Some people believe, because of a mysterious truss found among the remains, that a Mr Hollis lies in Yeats’s grave—and most people have heard the story of the family cat’s having stolen Hardy’s freshly-excised heart.