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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

NEURASTENIA, by         Recitation            
First Line: I watch the happier people of the house
Last Line: How black it is, how fast it is, below?
Alternate Author Name(s): Duclaux, Madame Emile; Darmesteter, Mary; Robinson, A. Mary F.
Variant Title(s): In Affliction
Subject(s): Weariness; Fatigue

I WATCH the happier people of the house
Come in and out, and talk, and go their ways;
I sit and gaze at them; I cannot rouse
My heavy mind to share their busy days.

I watch them glide, like skaters on a stream,
Across the brilliant surface of the world.
But I am underneath: they do not dream
How deep below the eddying flood is whirl'd.

They cannot come to me, nor I to them;
But, if a mightier arm could reach and save,
Should I forget the tide I had to stem?
Should I, like these, ignore the abysmal wave?

Yes! in the radiant air how could I know
How black it is, how fast it is, below?

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