Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

A LYRIC OF WEARINESS


 

    Sweeter to listen thy singing
Than wearisome babble of men;
    To hearken down closer to thy singing,
    Thy bells so tumultuous, ringing,
On marshlands and wind-tangled fen.
5
    Full-wearied, to drink in and listen
    The ripple of waters that glisten,
    Forgetting the babble of men.

    Forgetting the gibe and the sneering;
The pettiness, rancor and fray

10
    Of a world whose birth and appearing,
    Whose jealousies, struggles, and jeering,
And curses are but for a day.
    Close-brother to bud and to blossom
    Low-cradled in summer’s warm bosom,
15
    I drink the sweet peace of the day.

    The mad world may buckle its armor,
May gird itself strong to the strife;
    It may heat its weird furnaces warmer,
    Yea seven times seven still warmer,

20
Till the white flame slays like a knife:
    But dead to its curse and ambition,
    I listen the waves’ soft petition,
    And rest me apart from the strife.

    O brothers, what matter, what reason,

25
To struggle a few weary hours?
    Better be one of the bees in
    The blossoms one sweet little season,
To gather the honey of flowers.
    To gather the sunshine and sweetness,
30
    And round out life’s little completeness,
    Passing away with the hours.