Apology (Lowell)

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Be not angry with me that I bear
 Your colours everywhere,
 All through each crowded street,
  And meet
 The wonder-light in every eye,
  As I go by.

Each plodding wayfarer looks up to gaze,
 Blinded by rainbow haze,
 The stuff of happiness,
  No less,
 Which wraps me in its glad-hued folds
  Of peacock golds.

Before my feet the dusty, rough-paved way
 Flushes beneath its gray.
 My steps fall ringed with light,
  So bright,
 It seems a myriad suns are strown
  About the town.

Around me is the sound of steepled bells,
 And rich perfumed smells
 Hang like a wind-forgotten cloud,
  And shroud
 Me from close contact with the world.
  I dwell impearled.

You blazon me with jewelled insignia.
 A flaming nebula
 Rims in my life. And yet
  You set
 The word upon me, unconfessed
  To go unguessed.

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


The author died in 1925, 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.