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!"