I am not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk,---
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbors, daily, weekly in my sight:
And, for any chance-acquaintance, ladies
Sons, mothers, maidens withering on the
These all wear out of me, like Forms, with
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast-
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast
Better than such discourse doth silence long,
Long, barren silence, square with my desire;
To sit without emotion, hope, or aim,
In the loved presence of my cottage-fire,
And listen to the flapping of the flame,
Or kettle whispering its faint undersong.
"Yet life," you say, "is life: we have seen
And with a living pleasure we describe;
And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe
The languid mind into activity.
Sound sense, and love itself; and mirth and
Are fostered by the comment and the gibe."
Even be it so; yet still among your tribe,
Our daily world's true Worldlings, rank not
Children are bless'd, and powerful; their
More justly balanced; partly at their fee, in
And part far from them;---sweetest melodies
Are those that are by distance made more
Whose mind is but the mind of his own eyes,
He is a Slave; the meanest we can meet!
Wings have we,---and as far as we can go,
We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that
Which with the lofty sanctifies the low.
Dreams, books, are each a world; and books,
Are a substantial world, both pure and good;
Round these, with tendrils, strong as flesh
our pastime and our happiness will grow,
There find I personal themes, a plenteous
Matter wherein right voluble I am,
To which I listen with a ready ear;
Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear,---
The gentle Lady married to the Moor,
And heavenly Una with her milk-white
Nor can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote
From evil-speaking; rancor, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.
Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joy--
And thus from day to day my little boat
Rocks in its harbor, lodging peaceably,
Blessings be with them--and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares---
The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays!
Oh! might my name be numbered among
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.