Thomas Hardy died 89 years ago today at his house Max Gate, on the outskirts of Dorchester. This is one of my (many) favourite poems of his;
`An August Midnight`
A shaded lamp and a waving blind,
And the beat of a clock from a distant floor:
On this scene enter - winged, horned, and spined -
A longlegs, a moth, and a dumbledore;
While `mid my page there idly stands
A sleepy fly, that rubs its hands...
Thus meet we five, in this still place,
At this point of time, at this point in space.
- My guests besmear my new-penned line,
Or bang at the lamp and fall supine.
"God`s humblest, they !" I muse, Yet why ?
They know Earth-secrets that know not I.
The scene of the poem is his study at Max Gate. It was written in 1899 and appeared in his second volume of verse, `Poems of the Past and the Present`, published in 1901.