***THE BROTHER OF A WEED***
I have shut up my soul with vehemence
Against the world, and opened every sense
That I may take, but not for love or price,
The world’s best gold and frankincense and spice.
I have delighted in all visible things
And built the world of my imaginings
Out of the splendour of the day and night,
And I have never wondered that my sight
Should serve me for my pleasure, or that aught
Beyond the lonely mirror of my thought
Lived, and desired me. i have walked as one
Who dreams himself the master of the sun,
And that the seasons are as seraphim
And in the months and stars bow down to him.
And I have been of all men loneliest,
And my chill soul has withered in my breast
With pride and no content and loneliness.
And I have said: To make our sorrow less
Is there not pity in the heart of flowers,
Or joy in wings of birds that might be ours?
Is there a beast that lives, and will not move
Toward our poor love with a more lovely love?
And might not our proud hopeless sorrow pass
If we became as humble as the grass?
I will get down from my sick throne where I
Dreamed that the seasons of the earth and sky,
The leash of months and stars, were mine to lead,
And pray to be the brother of a weed.
I am beginning to find out that there
Are beings to be pitied everywhere.
Thus when I hear, at night an orphaned sheep
Crying as a child cries, how can I sleep?
Yet the night-birds are happy, or I seem
To hear them in the hollow of a dream,
Whispering to each other in the trees,
And through the window comes a leaping breeze
That has the sea-salt in it. When I hear
Crying of oxen, that, in deadly fear,
Rough men, with cruel dogs about them, drive
Into the torture-house of death alive,
How can I sit under a tree and read
A happy idle book, and take no heed?
Why is not sorrow kinder to all these
That have short lives and yet so little ease?
Life is bun anxious fear to lambs and hens,
And even the birds are enemies of men’s
Because they rob a cherry-tree; the mole
Cannot be left in quiet in his hole
Though he is softer than a velvet gown;
The caterpillar is soon trodden down
Under a boot’s ignorant heel, though he
Is woven finer than old tapestry.
The worm is close and busy and discreet,
The foe of no man living: no man’s feet
Spare him, if he but crawl into the sun.
Who can be happy, while these things are done?
Why are the roses filled with such a heat,
And are so gaudy and riotously sweet,
When any wind may snap them from the stem
Or any little green worm canker them?
Why is the dawn-delivered butterfly
So arrogant, knowing he has to die
Before another dawn has waked his brother?
Why do the dragon-flies outshoot each other
With such an ardour, knowing that the noon
Will put away his shining arrows soon?
Why is the seed that, having got to corn,
Must come to bread, so eager to be born?
Why is it that the joy of living gives
Forgetfulness to everything that lives?
-Arthur Symons —"
- A Gem found in a rubbish bookstore , whittier C.A.