Only time will tell.
Here is a winter/Christmas poem by Thomas Hardy.
by Thomas HardyChristmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.“Now they are all on their knees,”An elder said as we sat in a flockBy the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures whereThey dwelt in their strawy pen,Nor did it occur to one of us thereTo doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weaveIn these years! Yet, I feel,If someone said on Christmas Eve,“Come; see the oxen kneel,
“In the lonely barton by yonder coombOur childhood used to know,”I should go with him in the gloom,Hoping it might be so.
Listening with a pencil and my ear, these are the lines I marked:
I should go with him in the gloom,Hoping it might be so.
I have not spent much time with Hardy the poet, a quick read 20 years ago or more through his Collected Poems.
To the modern ear, trained as it has been upon free-verse and Modernism, some of Hardy’s language is just “too versified.” Words like “yonder” and “coomb” are almost grating. And yet these last two lines shine.
The “problem of rhyme” is one of the great dividing lines in the history of verse in English. For many of us, it is a problem we feel we can never satisfactorily solve… and so we take the cowards way out and avoid it altogether. The first two lines of the final stanza of this poem certainly seem to justify our suspicion.