52 “Who prop, thou ask’st, in these bad days, my mind?” Yeh, summer beach, young riders thudding past Punching out clear hoofprints beside the white Spill of the waves, against the low sun’s light The black shapes of the horsemen dwindling fast, And here, attached to each of the sand-crumbs cast Beside the hoofprints, a little stalactite Of shadow, while I mope along and fight The gloom my reading’s put me in last … Cheer up. What if you must throw in your lot With Gittingses and Thompsons now, and not Go back to those they’ve told on for the ages, Those monsters Hardy and Frost. You’ll get, God knows, A generous friend in Lawrance Thompson’s pages, Largeness of soul in Robert Gittings’ prose. Gittings records with approval the verdict of Mr. Clodd that in Hardy “There was no largeness of soul.” 103