Oh to be idle loving idleness!
But I am idle all in hate of me;
Ever in action's dream, in the false stress
Of purposed action never act to be.
Like a fierce beast self-penned in a bait-lair,
My will to act binds with excess my action,
Not-acting coils the thought with raged despair,
And acting rage doth paint despair distraction.
Like someone sinking in a treacherous sand,
Each gesture to deliver sinks the more;
The struggle avails not, and to raise no hand,
Though but more slowly useless, we've no power.
Hence live I the dead life each day doth bring,
Repurposed for next day's repurposing.
As to a child, I talked my heart asleep
With empty promise of the coming day,
And it slept rather for my words made sleep
Than from a thought of what their sense did say.
For did it care for sense, would it not wake
And question closer to the morrow's pleasure?
Would it not edge nearer my words, to take
The promise in the meting of its measure?
So, if it slept, 'twas that it cared but for
The present sleepy use of promised joy,
Thanking the fruit but for the forecome flower
Which the less active senses best enjoy.
Thus with deceit do I detain the heart
Of which deceit's self knows itself a part.