Why Thus Longing?


By Harriet Winslow


Why thus longing, thus forever sighing,

  For the far-off, unattained and dim,

While the beautiful, all round thee lying,

  Offers up its low, perpetual hymn?


Wouldst thou listen to its gentle teaching,

  All thy restless yearnings it would still;

Leaf and flower and laden bee are preaching

  Thine own sphere, though humble, first to fill.


Poor indeed thou must be, if around thee

  Thou no ray of light and joy canst throw,

If no silken cord of love hath bound thee

  To some little world through weal and woe.


If no dear eyes thy fond love can brighten,–

  No fond voices answer to thine own;

If no brother’s sorrow thou canst lighten,

  By daily sympathy and gentle tone.

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