Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/268
262 DINNERS AND DARNS.
��DINNERS AND DARNS.
Jr PIS a wearisome, work-a-day world,
1 Made of dinners, and duties, and darns; Ah, if one could be kept like the birds,
Needing not either storehouse or barns; To be looking for dust on the stairs,
When the woods have their blossoming floors; To be stitching at gathers and hems,
When the world is abloom out of doors ; To be treading the round of each day,
Leaving mountains and torrents unseen ; To be battling with spiders at home
When the fern on the hillside is green ! No pageants move down the highway,
Like the olden-time glorious sights, Neither tournament, gallant and gay,
Neither castles, nor heroes, nor knights ; No fair silken sleeve to be pinned
On Sir Lancelot s shield as he rides ; No palmer goes wearily by,
No minstrel, song-welcomed, abides. And yet am I right? is it all ?
Only dinners and darns that we see ? Looking down on this work-a-day world,
Is there not even yet chivalry ? Is there not in the care-woven thread,
Deftly thrown by a woman s weak hand, The deep pathos of Poverty s speech,
Or the rooting of Honesty grand ?