(The Prince of Wales visited Hardy in Dorchester in 1923.)
Lift latch, step in, be welcome, Sir,
Albeit to see you I’m unglad
And your face is fraught with a deathly shyness
Bleaching what pink it may have had.
Come in, come in, Your Royal Highness
Beautiful weather?—Sir, that’s true,
Though the farmers are casting rueful looks
At tilth’s and pasture’s dearth of spryness—
Yes, Sir, I’ve written several books—
A little more chicken, Your Royal Highness?
Lift latch, step out, your car is there,
To bear you far from this antient vale.
We are both of us aged by our strange brief nighness
But each of us lives to tell the tale.
Farewell, farewell, Your Royal Highness.