Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
33. A Meeting with Despair
AS evening shaped I found me on a moor
  Which sight could scarce sustain:
The black lean land, of featureless contour,
  Was like a tract in pain.
“This scene, like my own life,” I said, “is one        5
  Where many glooms abide;
Toned by its fortune to a deadly dun—
  Lightless on every side.
I glanced aloft and halted, pleasure-caught
  To see the contrast there:        10
The ray-lit clouds gleamed glory; and I thought,
  “There’s solace everywhere!”
Then bitter self-reproaches as I stood
  I dealt me silently
As one perverse—misrepresenting Good        15
  In graceless mutiny.
Against the horizon’s dim-descernèd wheel
  A form rose, strange of mould:
That he was hideous, hopeless, I could feel
  Rather than could behold.        20
“’Tis a dead spot, where even the light lies spent
  To darkness!” croaked the Thing.
“Not if you look aloft!” said I, intent
  On my new reasoning.
“Yea—but await awhile!” he cried. “Ho-ho!—        25
  Look now aloft and see!”
I looked. There, too, sat night: Heaven’s radiant show
  Had gone. Then chuckled he.


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