The King's Experiment
It was a wet wan hour in spring,
And Nature met King Doom beside a lane,
Wherein Hodge trudged, all blithely ballading
The Mother's smiling reign.
"Why warbles he that skies are fair
And coombs alight," she cried, "and fallows gay,
When I have placed no sunshine in the air
Or glow on earth to-day?"
"'Tis in the comedy of things
That such should be," returned the one of Doom;
"Charge now the scene with brightest blazonings,
And he shall call them gloom."
She gave the word: the sun outbroke,
All Froomside shone, the hedgebirds raised a song;
And later Hodge, upon the midday stroke,
Returned the lane along,
Low murmuring: "O this bitter scene,
And thrice accurst horizon hung with gloom!
How deadly like this sky, these fields, these treen,
To trappings of the tomb!"
The Beldame then: "The fool and blind!
Such mad perverseness who may apprehend?" -
"Nay; there's no madness in it; thou shalt find
Thy law there," said her friend.
"When Hodge went forth 'twas to his Love,
To make her, ere this eve, his wedded prize,
And Earth, despite the heaviness above,
Was bright as Paradise.
"But I sent on my messenger,
With cunning arrows poisonous and keen,
To take forthwith her laughing life from her,
And dull her little een,
"And white her cheek, and still her breath,
Ere her too buoyant Hodge had reached her side;
So, when he came, he clasped her but in death,
And never as his bride.
"And there's the humour, as I said;
Thy dreary dawn he saw as gleaming gold,
And in thy glistening green and radiant red
Funereal gloom and cold."
Thomas Hardy's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The King's Experiment by Thomas Hardy )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Federico García Lorca
(5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(18 June 1945)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- No Man Is An Island, John Donne
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- Lonely Road, Alexander Onoja
- Happy Birthday Lord, Ron Baratono
- I Truly Do, Michael P. McParland
- I Still Love You, Michael P. McParland
- I Pray For You, Michael P. McParland
- Pangako, Jesus James Llorico
- I Only Have Eyes, Michael P. McParland
- Jessica Dances, Eleanor Farjeon
- I Need Your Beauty, Michael P. McParland
- I Need You (More Than You Know), Michael P. McParland