Poem Thomas Hardy

By the Earth’s Corpse

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I

“O Lord, why grievest Thou? –
      Since Life has ceased to be
Upon this globe, now cold
      As lunar land and sea,
And humankind, and fowl, and fur
      Are gone eternally,
All is the same to Thee as ere
      They knew mortality.”

II

“O Time,” replied the Lord,
      “Thou read’st me ill, I ween;
Were all the same, I should not grieve
      At that late earthly scene,
Now blestly past–though planned by me
      With interest close and keen! —
Nay, nay: things now are not the same
      As they have earlier been.

III

“Written indelibly
      On my eternal mind
Are all the wrongs endured
      By Earth’s poor patient kind,
Which my too oft unconscious hand
      Let enter undesigned.
No god can cancel deeds foredone,
      Or thy old coils unwind!

IV

“As when, in Noe’s days,
      I whelmed the plains with sea,
So at this last, when flesh
      And herb but fossils be,
And, all extinct, their piteous dust
      Revolves obliviously,
That I made Earth, and life, and man,
      It still repenteth me!”

Mute Opinion
The Bedridden Peasant

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