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,
Know that thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!"
Then could I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.
But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
-- Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan . . . .
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

Written in 1866, but first published in Wessex Poems and Other Verses (London: Macmillan, Sept. 1898).

Transcribed from Eminent British Poets of the Nineteenth Century, Volume Two: Tennyson to Housman, ed. Paul Robert Lieder. New York: Harper & Bros., 1938. Pp. 724-25. Checked against against The Works of Thomas Hardy (Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1994), p. 7.[PVA]

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Last modified 1 October 2007