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About this Poem 

This poem was published in Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Macmillan, 1916).

The House of Hospitalities

Here we broached the Christmas barrel,
     Pushed up the charred log-ends;
Here we sang the Christmas carol,
            And called in friends.

Time has tired me since we met here
      When the folk now dead were young.
Since the viands were outset here
            And quaint songs sung.

And the worm has bored the viol
     That used to lead the tune,
Rust eaten out the dial
            That struck night’s noon.

Now no Christmas brings in neighbours,
     And the New Year comes unlit;
Where we sang the mole now labours,
            And spiders knit.

Yet at midnight if here walking,
     When the moon sheets wall and tree,
I see forms of old time talking,
            Who smile on me.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, whose books include Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, was one of the most influentual novelists and poets of England's Victorian era. He died on January 11, 1928.

by this poet

poem

I

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
     Uncoffined—just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
     That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
     Each night above his mound.
 

II

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew—
     Fresh from his

poem
We waited for the sun
To break its cloudy prison
(For day was not yet done,
And night still unbegun)
Leaning by the dial.

After many a trial—
We all silent there—
It burst as new-arisen,
Throwing a shade to where
Time travelled at that minute.

Little saw we in it,
But this much I know,
Of lookers on that shade
poem
How great my grief, my joys how few, 
Since first it was my fate to know thee! 
- Have the slow years not brought to view 
How great my grief, my joys how few, 
Nor memory shaped old times anew, 
    Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee 
How great my grief, my joys how few, 
    Since first it was my fate to