by Daryl L. L. Houston
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. -- Thomas Hardy, 1866
I’m just going to go roll around in a pile of ashes now.
This is a Hardy staple, and for good reason. I love the coinage “unblooms,” and the helpless sentiment is hard to argue with. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a more succinct, bitter, and on-target distillation of the human condition.