Famous Quotations

What does Flesh perishes you live on mean?


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This line is from the Thomas Hardy poem "Heredity" published in 1917 in Moments of Vision. When looked at in the context of the poem, the meaning becomes more clear.

I am the family face;

Flesh perishes, I live on,

Projecting trait and trace

Through time to times anon,

And leaping from place to place

Over oblivion. The years-heired feature that can

In curve and voice and eye

Despise the human span

Of durance--that is I;

The eternal thing in man,

That heeds no call to die. Hardy is speaking directly of the continuity of family appearance, a sort of immortality.