Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PURSUIT AND POSSESSION, by THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PURSUIT AND POSSESSION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When I behold what pleasure is pursuit
Last Line: Will-of-the-wisp, that I may still pursue!
Subject(s): Life

WHEN I behold what pleasure is Pursuit,
What life, what glorious eagerness it is;
Then mark how full Possession falls from this,
How fairer seems the blossom than the fruit--
I am perplext, and often stricken mute
Wondering which attained the higher bliss,
The winged insect, or the chrysalis
It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.
Spirit of verse, that still elud'st my art,
Thou airy phantom that dost ever haunt me,
O never, never rest upon my heart,
If when I have thee I shall little want thee!
Still flit away in moonlight, rain, and dew,
Will-of-the-wisp, that I may still pursue!

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