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A Meeting With Despair

 AS evening shaped I found me on a moor
Which sight could scarce sustain:
The black lean land, of featureless contour,
Was like a tract in pain.
"This scene, like my own life," I said, "is one Where many glooms abide; Toned by its fortune to a deadly dun-- Lightless on every side.
I glanced aloft and halted, pleasure-caught To see the contrast there: The ray-lit clouds gleamed glory; and I thought, "There's solace everywhere!" Then bitter self-reproaches as I stood I dealt me silently As one perverse--misrepresenting Good In graceless mutiny.
Against the horizon's dim-descern?d wheel A form rose, strange of mould: That he was hideous, hopeless, I could feel Rather than could behold.
"'Tis a dead spot, where even the light lies spent To darkness!" croaked the Thing.
"Not if you look aloft!" said I, intent On my new reasoning.
"Yea--but await awhile!" he cried.
"Ho-ho!-- Look now aloft and see!" I looked.
There, too, sat night: Heaven's radiant show Had gone.
Then chuckled he.

Poem by Thomas Hardy
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