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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 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-discerned 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.

Thomas Hardy