Tuesday, February 21, 2012

For a man-machine toil-tired may crave beauty too

Joy in the Woods

There is joy in the woods just now,
       The leaves are whispers of song,
And the birds make mirth on the bough
       And music the whole day long,
And God! to dwell in the town
       In these springlike summer days,
On my brow an unfading frown
       And hate in my heart always—

A machine out of gear, aye, tired,
Yet forced to go on—for I’m hired.

Just forced to go on through fear,
       For every day I must eat
And find ugly clothes to wear,
       And bad shoes to hurt my feet
And a shelter for work-drugged sleep!
       A mere drudge! but what can one do?
A man that’s a man cannot weep!
       Suicide? A quitter? Oh, no!

But a slave should never grow tired,
Whom the masters have kindly hired.

But oh! for the woods, the flowers
       Of natural, sweet perfume,
The heartening, summer showers
       And the smiling shrubs in bloom,
Dust-free, dew-tinted at morn,
       The fresh and life-giving air,
The billowing waves of corn
       And the birds’ notes rich and clear:—

For a man-machine toil-tired
May crave beauty too—though he’s hired.

1 comment:

  1. A machine out of gear, aye, tired,
    Yet forced to go on—for I’m hired.

    Yeah, me too. Isn't it summer yet?

    My head aches.* And furthermore, a drowsy numbness pains my senses.

    There was many a moment, at my desk this afternoon, when I had to ask myself, Do I wake or sleep?

    (But answer there came none.)

    That's the way to impress an employer!

    *Yes, I know it was Keats's heart that ached. But he didn't have my cold in the head. Here's to a more energetic tomorrow.