The Old Neighbour And The New

A poem by Thomas Hardy

'Twas to greet the new rector I called I here,
But in the arm-chair I see
My old friend, for long years installed here,
Who palely nods to me.

The new man explains what he's planning
In a smart and cheerful tone,
And I listen, the while that I'm scanning
The figure behind his own.

The newcomer urges things on me;
I return a vague smile thereto,
The olden face gazing upon me
Just as it used to do!

And on leaving I scarcely remember
Which neighbour to-day I have seen,
The one carried out in September,
Or him who but entered yestreen.

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