A Vagabond Mind

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A Vagabond Mind  (1919) 
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Optimism (1919)

Since early this morning the world has seemed surging
   With unworded rhythm, and rhyme without thought.
It may be the Muses take this way of urging
   The patience and pains by which poems are wrought.
It may be some singer who passed into glory,
   With songs all unfinished, is lingering near
And trying to tell me the rest of the story,
   Which I am too dull of perception to hear.

I hear not, I see not; but feel the sweet swinging
   And swaying of metre, in sunlight and shade,
The still arch of Space with such music is ringing
   As never an audible orchestra made.
The moments glide by me, and each one is dancing;
   Aquiver with life is each leaf on the tree,
And out on the ocean is movement entrancing,
   As billow with billow goes racing with glee.

With never a thought that is worthy the saying,
   And never a theme to be put into song,
Since early this morning my mind has been straying,
   A vagabond thing, with a vagabond throng,
With gay, idle moments, and waves of the ocean,
   With winds and with sunbeams, and tree-tops and birds,
It has lilted along in the joy of mere motion,
   To songs without music and verse without words.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.