Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thomas Hardy: June 2, 1840 to Jan. 11, 1928

The following poem is titled "Nature's Questionings." But, of course, Nature doesn't question, it exists and leaves the questionings to us. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't the reason why we are here--to ask the questions that the universe can't or is too busy to ask. Hmmm--another question.

Nature's Questionings

When I look forth at dawning, pool,
Field, flock, and lonely tree,
All seem to gaze at me
Like chastened children sitting silent in a school:

Their faces dulled, constrained, and sore,
As though the master's ways
Through the long teaching days
Had cowed them till their early zest was overborne.

Upon them stirs in lippings mere
(As if once clear in call,
But now scarce breathed at all)--
"We wonder, ever wonder, why we find us here!

"Has some Vast Imbecility,
Mighty to build and blend,
But impotent to tend,
Framed us in jest, and left us now to hazardry?

"Or come we of an Automaton
Unconscious of our pains? . . .
Or are we live remains
Of Godhead dying downwards, brain and eye now gone?

"Or is it that some high Plan betides,
As yet not understood,
Of Evil stormed by Good,
We the Forlorn Hope over which Achievement strides?"

Thus things around . No answerer I. . .
Meanwhile the winds, and rains,
And Earth's old glooms and pains
Are still the same, and Life and Death are neighbours nigh.

These are what some have called the Perennial Questions--first asked thousands, if not tens of thousands of years ago and while some know they have the answers, others still ask.

No comments:

Post a Comment