A Meeting With Despair
by Thomas Hardy
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
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:
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
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.
"'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!--
Look now aloft and see!"
I looked. There, too, sat night: Heaven's radiant show
Had gone. Then chuckled he.