Among the Millet

by Archibald Lampman


 

DESPONDENCY


 

Slow figures in some live remorseless frieze,
    The approaching days escapeless and unguessed,
    With mask and shroud impenetrably dressed;
Time, whose inexorable destinies
Bear down upon us like impending seas;                                     5
    And the huge presence of the world, at best
    A sightless giant wandering without rest,
Agèd and mad with many miseries.

The weight and measure of these things who knows?
    Resting at times beside life’s thought-swept stream,              10
Sobered and stunned with unexpected blows,
    We scarcely hear the uproar; life doth seem,
Save for the certain nearness of its woes,
    Vain and phantasmal as a sick man’s dream.