I AM A PARCEL OF VAIN STRIVINGS

          I AM a parcel of vain strivings tied

          By a chance bond together,

          Dangling this way and that, their links

          Were made so loose and wide,

          Methinks,

          For milder weather.

 

          A bunch of violets without their roots,

          And sorrel intermixed,

          Encircled by a wisp of straw

          Once coiled about their shoots,

          The law

          By which I'm fixed.

 

          A nosegay which Time clutched from out

          Those fair Elysian fields,

          With weeds and broken stems, in haste,

          Doth make the rabble rout

          That waste

          The day he yields.

 

          And here I bloom for a short hour unseen,

          Drinking my juices up,

          With no root in the land

          To keep my branches green,

          But stand

          In a bare cup.

 

          Some tender buds were left upon my stem

          In mimicry of life,

          But ah! the children will not know,

          Till time has withered them,

          The woe

          With which they're rife.

 

          But now I see I was not plucked for naught,

          And after in life's vase

          Of glass set while I might survive,

          But by a kind hand brought

          Alive

          To a strange place.

 

          That stock thus thinned will soon redeem its hours,

          And by another year,

          Such as God knows, with freer air,

          More fruits and fairer flowers

          Will bear,

          While I droop here. 

 

 

 

 

         My Life Has Been the Poem

 

         My life has been the poem I would have writ,
           But I could not both live and utter it.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               Henry David Thoreau