To Idleness

Sweet Idleness, you linger at the door
To lead me down through meadows cool with shade—
Down to the brook, over whose pebbly floor
The fishes, unafraid,
Swim softly, careless of our airy world.
I hear you ever singing, calling ever,
Bidding me sever
The chain so close about my spirit curled.
Why do I toil and pore
When you are at the door?
Surely Time's slave am I, and you will shun me;
Surely the delvers of the dark have won me
If here I stay when you are fled away.

O Idleness, where sleep your votaries ?
In what enchanted garden of pure bliss
Float their dim dreams on lotus-laden wings?
What joy of musical imaginings
Lulls them in banishment?
Ah, call them back to earth, that weary is!
Ah, call them back, with sleepy-eyed Content
Close in their flowery train,
And bid them soothe a world whose joys are spent,
Who prays for peace in vain !
Tell them to twine their wreaths round yonder brow,
Whence lovely hopes flamed skyward once, where now
Greed showers his ashes gray.
Bedew those eyes until they shine once more;
For exiled youth unbar the rusted door,
And save a soul to-day.

Oh, will you linger with the butterflies,
And man's high love despise?
I know one fit for your sweet wooing—
Ah, save him from the beckoning death!
Too swiftly Beauty's quest pursuing,
Soon must he fall, and fail of breath.
The dull world speeds him on—oh, haste!
With roses bind him, bear him far,
Sing him sweet songs, weave visions chaste,
Till he is strong to seek his star!

Ah, we have sinned and grievous is our shame !
You we have banished, and reviled your name,
Till men dig deep in shadows, rubbing o'er
Their earthy store;
And maids pink-petalled like the morn,
For you and love and dalliance born,
Toil clamorous in the dark, and smile no more.
Do you hear the noise? Ah, no! for you are flown.
Now you will follow
The flight of song through fields with daisies sown.
The sport of thrush and swallow
Rhymes with your joy, and I must brood alone.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
90 Views

Harriet Monroe

Harriet Monroe was an American editor, scholar, literary critic, poet and patron of the arts. more…

All Harriet Monroe poems | Harriet Monroe Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this Harriet Monroe poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"To Idleness" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 May 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/16944/to-idleness>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.