This poem (Near Lanivet 1872)was a favourite with Hardy himself and is about a strange experience of his and Emmas, after visiting Bodmin (a town in the West Country)to discuss their engagement with Emma's father.
There was a stunted handpost just on the crest,
Only a few feet high:
She was tired, and we stopped in the twilight-time for her rest,
At the crossways close thereby.
She leant back, being so weary, against its stem,
And laid her arms on its own,
Each open palm stretched out to each end of them,
Her sad face sideways thrown.
Her white-clothed form at this dim-lit cease of day
Made her look as one crucified
In my gaze at her from the midst of the dusty way,
And hurriedly "Don't," I cried.
I do not think she heard. Loosing thence she said,
As she stepped forth ready to go,
"I am rested now.