English poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, whose gloomy cast of mind makes him particularly suitable for these pages, lived most of his nearly 90 years right next door to death.
I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
Ashes gone cold.
For the next few posts, Executed Today catches a young Thomas Hardy as witness to public hangings … and an aged Hardy as witness to a world at war.