The Last Performance BY THOMAS HARDY

“I am playing my oldest tunes,” declared she,
      “All the old tunes I know,—
Those I learnt ever so long ago.”
—Why she should think just then she’d play them
       Silence cloaks like snow.
When I returned from the town at nightfall
      Notes continued to pour
As when I had left two hours before:
“It’s the very last time,” she said in closing;
       “From now I play no more.”
A few morns onward found her fading,
      And, as her life outflew,
I thought of her playing her tunes right through;
And I felt she had known of what was coming,
      And wondered how she knew.

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