Thursday, May 27, 2010


When All Went Well

Thomas Hardy, Before Life and After:
    A time there was—as one may guess
And as, indeed, earth's testimonies tell—
    Before the birth of consciousness,
        When all went well.

    None suffered sickness, love, or loss,
None knew regret, starved hope, or heart-burnings;
    None cared whatever crash or cross
        Brought wrack to things.

    If something ceased, no tongue bewailed,
If something winced and waned, no heart was wrung;
    If brightness dimmed, and dark prevailed,
        No sense was stung.

    But the disease of feeling germed,
And primal rightness took the tinct of wrong;
    Ere nescience shall be reaffirmed
        How long, how long?

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