Happy Birthday, Thomas Hardy.
Attentive eyes, fantastic heed,
Assessing minds, he does not need,
Nor urgent writs to sup or dine,
Nor pledges in the roseate wine.
For loud acclaim he does not care
By the august or rich or fair,
Nor for smart pilgrims from afar,
Curious on where his hauntings are.
But soon or later, when you hear
That he has doffed this wrinkled gear,
Some evening, at the first star-ray,
Come to his graveside, pause and say:
‘Whatever his message his to tell
Two thoughtful women loved him well.’
Stand and say that amid the dim:
It will be praise enough for him.
— Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928)