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-discerned 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.

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