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-descernèd 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.

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