Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE CURSE OF THE WANDERING FOOT, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: All hope of rest withdrawn me!
Last Line: The curse of the wandering foot.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Curses; Travel; Wandering & Wanderers; Journeys; Trips
ALL hope of rest withdrawn me! --
What dread command hath put
This awful curse upon me --
The curse of the wandering foot?
Forward and backward and thither,
And hither and you again --
Wandering ever! And whither?
Answer them, God! Amen.
The blue skies are far o'er me --
The bleak fields near below:
Where the mother that bore me? --
Where her grave in the snow? --
Glad in her trough of a coffin --
The sad eyes frozen shut
That wept so often, often,
The curse of the wandering foot!
Here in your marts I care not
Whatsoever ye think.
Good folk many who dare not
Give me to eat and drink:
Give me to sup of your pity --
Feast me on prayers! -- O ye,
Met I your Christ in the city,
He would fare forth with me --
Forward and onward and thither,
And hither again and yon,
With milk for our drink together
And honey to feed upon --
Nor hope of rest withdrawn us,
Since the one Father put
The blessed curse upon us --
The curse of the wandering foot.
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