The stars have not dealt me the worst they could do:My pleasures are plenty, my troubles are two.But oh, my two troubles they reave me of rest,The brains in my head and the heart in my breast.Oh, grant me the ease that is granted so free,The birthright of multitudes, give it to me,That relish their victuals and rest on their bedWith flint in the bosom and guts in the head.
Along the field as we came byA year ago, my love and I,The aspen over stile and stoneWas talking to itself alone.'Oh who are these that kiss and pass?A country lover and his lass;Two lovers looking to be wed;And time shall put them both to bed,But she shall lie with earth above,And he beside another love.'And sure enough beneath the treeThere walks another love with me, And overhead the aspen heavesIts rainy-sounding silver leaves;And I spell nothing in their stir,But now perhaps they speak to her,And plain for her to understandThey talk about a time at handWhen I shall sleep with clover clad,And she beside another lad.
When the lad for longing sighs,Mute and dull of cheer and pale,If at death's own door he lies,Maiden, you can heal his ail.Lovers' ills are all to buy:The wan look, the hollow tone,The hung head, the sunken eye,You can have them for your own.Buy them, buy them: eve and mornLovers' ills are all to sell.Then you can lie down forlorn;But the lover will be well.
When I examine my mind and try to discern clearly in the matter, I cannot satisfy myself that there are any such things as poetical ideas. No truth, it seems to me, is too precious, no observation too profound, and no sentiment too exalted to be expressed in prose. The utmost I could admit is that some ideas do, while others do not, lend themselves kindly to poetical expression; and that those receive from poetry an enhancement which glorifies and almost transfigures them, and which is not perceived to be a separate thing except by analysis.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled,Followed their mercenary callingAnd took their wages and are dead. Their shoulders held the sky suspended;They stood, and earth's foundations stay;What God abandoned, these defended,And saved the sum of things for pay.