Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PSALM OF TRAVEL, by GEORGE SANTAYANA



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A PSALM OF TRAVEL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I like to leave my house and home
Last Line: We'll dream our little dream together.
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips


(or what the soul of the young man said to his grandmother)

I like to leave my house and home
And spew my insides in the sea,
With just one trunk on earth to roam,
That is the height of bliss for me;
To roam alone without my trunk --
That is the depth of misery.

I cannot part from what I prize
For all I prize is in my head;
My fancies are the fields and skies
I will not change till I am dead,
Unless indeed I lose my wits
Or (what is much the same thing) wed.

That freedom cheats us with a word
Which sets up knaves and murders kings.
We are not free till we have stirred.
So cut your mother's apron strings
And putting money in your purse
Fly off on the express train's wings.

I'll stay at home when I am lame
And coppers give when I have gold,
I'll modest be when known to fame,
I will be chaste when I am old.
Then all the angels will rejoice
To bring a lost sheep to the fold.

This is my only chance to taste
The sweet and bitter fruit of earth,
And in the struggle and the haste
I needn't ask what all is worth.
It isn't wasting very much
To waste the time 'twixt death and birth.

"Lie down as if to pleasant dreams
When you lie down among the dead"
So says a poet: but it seems
That it were better to have said:
As if to pleasant dreams arise
Before the time to dream is fled.

So let us dream of changing skies
Of rushing streams and windy weather:
Though we are bound by fortune's ties
We'll to the outmost stretch the tether,
And be it gay or be it sad,
We'll dream our little dream together.





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