He Never Expected Much

by Thomas Hardy

Well, World, you have kept faith with me, Kept faith with me; Upon the whole you have proved to be Much as you said you were. Since as a child I used to lie Upon the leaze and watch the sky, Never, I own, expected I That life would all be fair. 'Twas then you said, and since have said, Times since have said, In that mysterious voice you shed From clouds and hills around: "Many have loved me desperately, Many with smooth serenity, While some have shown contempt of me Till they dropped underground. "I do not promise overmuch, Child; overmuch; Just neutral-tinted haps and such," You said to minds like mine. Wise warning for your credit's sake! Which I for one failed not to take, And hence could stem such strain and ache As each year might assign.