Long have I framed weak phantasies of Thee,
O Willer masked and dumb!
Who makest Life become, -
As though by labouring all-unknowingly,
Like one whom reveries numb.
How much of consciousness informs Thy will
Thy biddings, as if blind,
Of death-inducing kind,
Nought shows to us ephemeral ones who fill
But moments in Thy mind.
Perhaps Thy ancient rote-restricted ways
Thy ripening rule transcends;
That listless effort tends
To grow percipient with advance of days,
And with percipience mends.
For, in unwonted purlieus, far and nigh,
At whiles or short or long,
May be discerned a wrong
Dying as of self-slaughter; whereat I
Would raise my voice in song.
Thomas Hardy's Other Poems
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