Ode to a Pessimist

I am Smythe of Stoke, aged sixty-odd,
and lived without a dame from youth-time on
and wish to God
my Dad had done the same.

I have seen this listed as one of Hardy's works under the title "Epithath on a Pessimist", but with slightly different wording. It was first presented to me in a high school English text as an anonymous poet with the wording as seen above.