Saturday, September 14, 2013

Poetry Saturday

Because I'm late for Friday.

I found this poem while looking for a Robert Service poem about daydreaming. I still haven't found the original one, but the moment I read the first stanza of this one, I was in love. This poem hit me right in the gut. It says so many things I want to say, particularly about how my job and my values clash. Sadly I know nothing about John Boyle O'Reilly, except that he lived from 1844 to 1890 and was an big Irish rights activist. I'll have to read more of his work. His tone sounds a lot like Service.

The Cry of the Dreamer
by John Boyle O'Reilly

I am tired of planning and toiling
In the crowded hives of men:
Heart-weary of building and spoiling,
And spoiling and building again.
And I long for the dear old river,
Where I dreamed my youth away;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a toiler dies in a day.

I am sick of the showy seeming
Of a life that is half a lie;
Of the faces lined with scheming
In the throng that hurries by.
From the sleepless thoughts' endeavour,
I would go where the children play;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a thinker dies in a day.

I can feel no pride, but pity
For the burdens the rich endure;
There is nothing sweet in the city
But the patient lives of the poor.
Oh, the little hands too skillful,
And the child-mind choked with weeds!
The daughter's heart grown willful,
And the father's heart that bleeds!

No, no! from the street's rude bustle,
From the trophies of mart and stage,
I would fly to the woods' low rustle
And the meadows' kindly page.
Let me dream as of old by the river,
And be loved for the dream alway;
For a dreamer lives forever,
And a toiler dies in a day.

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