Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/268

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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 ?

�� �