Doom And She

A poem by Thomas Hardy


There dwells a mighty pair -
Slow, statuesque, intense -
Amid the vague Immense:
None can their chronicle declare,
Nor why they be, nor whence.


Mother of all things made,
Matchless in artistry,
Unlit with sight is she. -
And though her ever well-obeyed
Vacant of feeling he.


The Matron mildly asks -
A throb in every word -
"Our clay-made creatures, lord,
How fare they in their mortal tasks
Upon Earth's bounded bord?


"The fate of those I bear,
Dear lord, pray turn and view,
And notify me true;
Shapings that eyelessly I dare
Maybe I would undo.


"Sometimes from lairs of life
Methinks I catch a groan,
Or multitudinous moan,
As though I had schemed a world of strife,
Working by touch alone."


"World-weaver!" he replies,
"I scan all thy domain;
But since nor joy nor pain
Doth my clear substance recognize,
I read thy realms in vain.


"World-weaver! what IS Grief?
And what are Right, and Wrong,
And Feeling, that belong
To creatures all who owe thee fief?
What worse is Weak than Strong?" . . .


- Unlightened, curious, meek,
She broods in sad surmise . . .
- Some say they have heard her sighs
On Alpine height or Polar peak
When the night tempests rise.

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