“Hap” by Thomas Hardy

I’ve always loved this poem, ever since I encountered it as a child.
Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap”:

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
—Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

And now there’s someone who really needs it.

Posted in religion. Tags: . 2 Comments »

2 Responses to ““Hap” by Thomas Hardy”

  1. katekatharinaferguson Says:

    A beautiful, reasonable, heartbreaking rejection of a deity?

  2. Richard Nelson Says:

    And I’ve liked this since I was a child:

    The Convergence of the Twain
    Thomas Hardy (1912)

    (Lines on the loss of the “Titanic”)

    I

    In a solitude of the sea
    Deep from human vanity,
    And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

    II

    Steel chambers, late the pyres
    Of her salamandrine fires,
    Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

    III

    Over the mirrors meant
    To glass the opulent
    The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

    IV

    Jewels in joy designed
    To ravish the sensuous mind
    Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

    V

    Dim moon-eyed fishes near
    Gaze at the gilded gear
    And query: “What does this vaingloriousness down here?”. . .

    VI

    Well: while was fashioning
    This creature of cleaving wing,
    The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

    VII

    Prepared a sinister mate
    For her — so gaily great —
    A Shape of Ice, for the time fat and dissociate.

    VIII

    And as the smart ship grew
    In stature, grace, and hue
    In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

    IX

    Alien they seemed to be:
    No mortal eye could see
    The intimate welding of their later history.

    X

    Or sign that they were bent
    By paths coincident
    On being anon twin halves of one August event,

    XI

    Till the Spinner of the Years
    Said “Now!” And each one hears,
    And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.


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