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The Lapse

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        THE LAPSE

This poem must be done to-day;
  Then, I 'll e'en to it.
I must not dream my time away,—
  I 'm sure to rue it.
The day is rather bright, I know
  The Muse will pardon
My half-defection, if I go
  Into the garden.
It must be better working there,—
  I 'm sure it's sweeter:
And something in the balmy air
  May clear my metre.

  [In the Garden.]

Ah this is noble, what a sky!
  What breezes blowing!
The very clouds, I know not why,
  Call one to rowing.
The stream will be a paradise
  To-day, I 'll warrant.
I know the tide that's on the rise
  Will seem a torrent;
I know just how the leafy boughs
  Are all a-quiver;
I know how many skiffs and scows
  Are on the river.
I think I 'll just go out awhile
  Before I write it;
When Nature shows us such a smile,
  We should n't slight it.
For Nature always makes desire
  By giving pleasure;
And so 't will help me put more fire
  Into my measure.

  [On the River.]

The river's fine, I 'm glad I came,
  That poem 's teasing;
But health is better far than fame,
  Though cheques are pleasing.
I don't know what I did it for,—
  This air 's a poppy.
I 'm sorry for my editor,—
  He 'll get no copy!

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.