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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.

by this poet

poem

Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me,
Saying that now you are not as you were
When you had changed from the one who was all to me,
But as at first, when our day was fair.

Can it be you that I hear? Let me view you, then,
Standing as when I drew near to the town
Where

poem

I

"Poor wanderer," said the leaden sky,
     "I fain would lighten thee,
But there are laws in force on high
     Which say it must not be."

II

--"I would not freeze thee, shorn one," cried
     The
poem
Hap
If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: "Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
that thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed