Verse > Thomas Hardy > Wessex Poems and Other Verses
Thomas Hardy (1840–1928).  Wessex Poems and Other Verses.  1898.
43. The Impercipient
THAT from this bright believing band
  An outcast I should be,
That faiths by which my comrades stand
  Seem fantasies to me,
And mirage-mists their Shining Land,        5
  Is a drear destiny.
Why thus my soul should be consigned
  To infelicity,
Why always I must feel as blind
  To sights my brethren see,        10
Why joys they’ve found I cannot find,
  Abides a mystery.
Since heart of mine knows not that ease
  Which they know; since it be
That He who breathes All’s Well to these        15
  Breathes no All’s Well to me,
My lack might move their sympathies
  And Christian charity!
I am like a gazer who should mark
  An inland company        20
Standing upfingered, with, “Hark! hark!
  The glorious distant sea!”
And feel, “Alas, ’tis but yon dark
  And wind-swept pine to me!”
Yet I would bear my shortcomings        25
  With meet tranquillity,
But for the charge that blessed things
  I’d liefer have unbe.
O, doth a bird deprived of wings
  Go earth-bound wilfully!
    .      .      .      .
Enough. As yet disquiet clings
  About us. Rest shall we.


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