Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)

Hap

Thomas Hardy

[1]

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire[2] unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted[3] me the tears I shed.

But not so.   How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
—Crass Casualty[4] obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
These purblind Doomsters[5] had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

— 1898


  1. Chance, happenstance.
  2. Anger, wrath.
  3. Given.
  4. Chance.
  5. Partly blind and obtuse judges.

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