A Meeting With Despair

Thomas Hardy 1840 (Stinsford) – 1928 (Dorchester, Dorset)

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.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on May 03, 2023

51 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,147
Words 176
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was not a Scottish Minister, not a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland nor a Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

All Thomas Hardy poems | Thomas Hardy Books

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