My friends, why should we live?

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My friends, why should we live?
Life is an idle war, a toilsome peace;
To-day I would not give
One small consent for its securest ease.


Shall we outwear the year
In our pavilions on its dusty plain,
And yet no signal hear
To strike our tents and take the road again?


Or else drag up the slope
The heavy ordnance of religion's train?
Useless, but in the hope
Some far remote and heavenward hill to gain.