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A Wasted Illness by Thomas Hardy
Through vaults of pain,
Enribbed and wrought with groins of ghastliness,
I passed, and garish spectres moved my brain
To dire distress.
And quakes, and shoots, and stifling hotness, blent
With webby waxing things and waning things
As on I went.
'Where lies the end
To this foul way?' I asked with weakening breath.
Thereon ahead I saw a door extend -
The door to death.
It loomed more clear:
'At last!' I cried. 'The all-delivering door!'
And then, I knew not how, it grew less near
And back slid I
Along the galleries by which I came,
And tediously the day returned, and sky,
And life--the same.
And all was well:
Old circumstance resumed its former show,
And on my head the dews of comfort fell
As ere my woe.
I roam anew,
Scarce conscious of my late distress . . . And yet
Those backward steps through pain I cannot view
For that dire train
Of waxing shapes and waning, passed before,
And those grim aisles, must be traversed again
To reach that door.