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The Impercipient

 (at a Cathedral Service)

THAT from this bright believing band
An outcast I should be,
That faiths by which my comrades stand
Seem fantasies to me,
And mirage-mists their Shining Land,
Is a drear destiny.
Why thus my soul should be consigned To infelicity, Why always I must feel as blind To sights my brethren see, Why joys they've found I cannot find, Abides a mystery.
Since heart of mine knows not that ease Which they know; since it be That He who breathes All's Well to these Breathes no All's Well to me, My lack might move their sympathies And Christian charity! I am like a gazer who should mark An inland company Standing upfingered, with, "Hark! hark! The glorious distant sea!" And feel, "Alas, 'tis but yon dark And wind-swept pine to me!" Yet I would bear my shortcomings With meet tranquillity, But for the charge that blessed things I'd liefer have unbe.
O, doth a bird deprived of wings Go earth-bound wilfully! .
As yet disquiet clings About us.
Rest shall we.

by Thomas Hardy
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