Satires of Circumstance in Fifteen Glimpses VIII: In the Study

Original Text: 
. Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 394-95. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
1He enters, and mute on the edge of a chair
2Sits a thin-faced lady, a stranger there,
3A type of decayed gentility;
4And by some small signs he well can guess
5That she comes to him almost breakfastless.
6"I have called -- I hope I do not err --
7I am looking for a purchaser
8Of some score volumes of the works
10Left by my father -- though it irks
11My patience to offer them." And she smiles
12As if necessity were unknown;
13"But the truth of it is that oftenwhiles
14I have wished, as I am fond of art,
16And these old books are so in the way."
17And lightly still she laughs to him,
18As if to sell were a mere gay whim,
19And that, to be frank, Life were indeed
20To her not vinegar and gall,
21But fresh and honey-like; and Need
22No household skeleton at all.


9] divines: ministers, preachers, theologians. Back to Line
15] smart,: "smart." in 1914. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries with Miscellaneous Pieces (London: Macmillan, 1915): 66. PR 4750 S3 1914 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.