I slept across the front of the clock,
   Close to the long case-door;
The hours were brought by their brazen knock
   To my ear as the slow nights wore.

Thus did I, she being sick to death,
   That each hour as it belled
Should wake me to rise, and learn by her breath
   Whether her strength still held.

Yet though throughout life's midnights all
   I would have watched till spent
For her dear sake, I missed the call
   Of the hour in which she went.

--Thomas Hardy

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