A Broken Appointment sets the Thomas Hardy poem of the same title. The text describes a heart broken man who wishes his love interest would give him the gift of showing up for their romantic meeting, even if he knows she has no interest in him. The music reflects the sense of missed love through a chiming motive in the piano, referencing the ever-ticking clock marching on even through heartbreak.
You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb. —
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.
You love me not.
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
–I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me?