Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Doom and She


I

   There dwells a mighty pair -
   Slow, statuesque, intense -
   Amid the vague Immense:
None can their chronicle declare,
   Nor why they be, nor whence.

,h II

   Mother of all things made,
   Matchless in artistry,
   Unlit with sight is she. -
And though her ever well-obeyed
   Vacant of feeling he.

III

   The Matron mildly asks -
   A throb in every word -
   "Our clay-made creatures, lord,
How fare they in their mortal tasks
   Upon Earth's bounded bord?

IV

   "The fate of those I bear,
   Dear lord, pray turn and view,
   And notify me true;
Shapings that eyelessly I dare
   Maybe I would undo.

V

   "Sometimes from lairs of life
   Methinks I catch a groan,
   Or multitudinous moan,
As though I had schemed a world of strife,
   Working by touch alone."

VI

   "World-weaver!&quo t; he replies,
   "I scan all thy domain;
   But since nor joy nor pain
Doth my clear substance recognize,
   I read thy realms in vain.

VII

   "World-weaver! what IS Grief?
   And what are Right, and Wrong,
   And Feeling, that belong
To creatures all who owe thee fief?
   What worse is Weak than Strong?" . . .

VIII

   --Unlightened, curious, meek,
   She broods in sad surmise . . .
   --Some say they have heard her sighs
On Alpine height or Polar peak
   When the night tempests rise.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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