Poem Thomas Hardy

A Dream Question

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“It shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine.”
                                                               Micah iii. 6.

I asked the Lord: “Sire, is this true
Which hosts of theologians hold,
That when we creatures censure you
For shaping griefs and ails untold
(Deeming them punishments undue)
You rage, as Moses wrote of old?

When we exclaim: ‘Beneficent
He is not, for he orders pain,
Or, if so, not omnipotent:
To a mere child the thing is plain!’
Those who profess to represent
You, cry out: ‘Impious and profane!'”

He: “Save me from my friends, who deem
That I care what my creatures say!
Mouth as you list: sneer, rail, blaspheme,
O manikin, the livelong day,
Not one grief-groan or pleasure-gleam
Will you increase or take away.

“Why things are thus, whoso derides,
May well remain my secret still . . .
A fourth dimension, say the guides,
To matter is conceivable.
Think some such mystery resides
Within the ethic of my will.”

The Christening


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