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I Am no chieftain, fit to lead
My form has lost its pliant grace,
They watch me from the palms, and some
On God, the Merciful, I call,
Deep sunk in sin the man must be
ODE TO INDOLENCE.
FIND me a bower, in silent dells embayed,
And trebly guarded from each wind that blows, Where the blue noon o'erroofs the tranquil shade,
And poppies breathe an odor of repose ; Where never noises from the distant world
Disturb the happy calm of soul and sense, But in thy haven every sail is furled,
Divinest Indolence! There shall I summon all melodious measures, And feel the hymns to thee, I sing to other Pleasures.
Within thy realm the vexing tempests die
That strip the leaves from Life's aspiring tree, And fairer blossoms open in thy sky,
To richer fruits maturing peacefully. What is the clangor of Ambition's car
To thine eternal silence? To thy rest,
What are the stormy joys that shake the breast, And Passion's cloud, that leaves the thunder-scar? On brows that burn with Toil's relentless fever Thy pitying hand is laid, and they have calm forever.
Where thou dost sit, the shadow of Despair
Fell never; Hate and Envy thence depart; Turn from thy gate the baffled hounds of Care,
And the great strength of slumber fills the heart. Even Love himself, far exiled, in thy bower,
From the bright paths of rapture which he trod,
Folds up his wing : in Indian Song, the god
Far from thee drift the shattered hulks of life ;
But the wrecked spirit slumbers at thy feet, And, harbored now from every wave of strife,
Feels the strong pulses of Existence beat. There hears the heart its native language, free
From the world's clamor ; with enlightened eyes
And read its destiny !
Yea, let men struggle, toil, exult, and win
The pigmy triumphs which they fret to wear; But I will fly the curse of primal sin,
And in thy lap the peace of Eden share. Serener than a star on Twilight's breast,
A sea-flower, deep below the tropic waves,
Or sparry foliage of the dædal caves, My life shall blossom in thine arms of rest. My breath grows calm ; my weary eyelids close; And the pursuing Fates have left me to repose.