Hardy’s devotion to ‘Tune’ was lifelong and, despite his self-reproaches in the Sala delle Muse, constant. It was part of his birthright: the Life prefaces its account of his birth with a description of the musical activities of his grandfather, prototype of old William Dewy of Under the Greenwood Tree, who played the bass-viol in the west gallery of Stinsford Church for thirty-five years; and of his father, who like Reuben, William’s son, played the tenor-violin. He owed his very existence to music, for as the charming sonnet ‘A Church Romance’ tells, the love between his parents began over a violin string:
She turned in the high pew, until her sight
Swept the west gallery, and caught its row
Of music-men with viol, book, and bow....
KeywordsDust Fibril Straw Ghost Tempo
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© Joan Grundy 1979