Hardy's "manifesto" from "An Apology"
"...Whether the human and kindred animal races survive till the exhaustion or destruction of the globe, or whether these races perish and are succeeded by others before that conclusion comes, pain to all upon it, tongued or dumb, shall be kept down to a minimum by loving-kindness, operating through scientific knowledge, and activated by the modicum of free will conjecturally possessed by organic life when the mighty necessitating forces--unconscious or other--that have 'the balancing of the clouds,' happen to be in equilibrium, which may or may not be often."
Poems are a "series of fuguitive impressions which I have never tried to coordinate" and their arrangement in previous books is a "gruaduated kinship of moods"
"Poetry, pure literature in general, religion--I include religion, in its essential and undogmatic sense, because poetry and religion touch each other, or rather modulate into each other....these, I say, the visible signs of mental and emotional life, must like all other things keep moving, becoming; even though at present, when belief in witches of Endor is displacing the Darwinian theory..."
"It may be a forlorn hope, a mere dream, that of an alliance between religion, which must be retained unless the world is to perish, and complete rationality, which must come, unless also the world is to perish, by means of the interfusing effect of poetry....but one dares not prophesy."
[These poems contain no philosophy, only a]"confused heap of impressions, like those of a bewildered child at a conjuring show."