Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)
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,
And 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.
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