Thomas Hardy

By the Earth's Corpse

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.


  "O Lord, why grievest Thou? -
  Since Life has ceased to be
  Upon this globe, now cold
  As lunar land and sea,
And humankind, and fowl, and fur
  Are gone eternally,
All is the same to Thee as ere
  They knew mortality."


"O Time," replied the Lord,
  "Thou read'st me ill, I ween;
Were all THE SAME, I should not grieve
  At that late earthly scene,
Now blestly past--though planned by me
  With interest close and keen! -
Nay, nay: things now are NOT the same
  As they have earlier been.


  "Written indelibly
  On my eternal mind
  Are all the wrongs endured
  By Earth's poor patient kind,
Which my too oft unconscious hand
  Let enter undesigned.
No god can cancel deeds foredone,
  Or thy old coils unwind!


  "As when, in Noe's days,
  I whelmed the plains with sea,
  So at this last, when flesh
  And herb but fossils be,
And, all extinct, their piteous dust
  Revolves obliviously,
That I made Earth, and life, and man,
  It still repenteth me!"