Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ONE OF MANY (1), by ALICE CARY



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ONE OF MANY (1), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Because I have not done the things I know
Last Line: That we, and not our stars, our fates assign.
Subject(s): Human Behavior; Fate


BECAUSE I have not done the things I know
I ought to do, my very soul is sad;
And furthermore, because that I have had
Delights that should have made to overflow
My cup of gladness, and have not been glad.

All in the midst of plenty, poor I live;
My house, my friend, with heavy heart I see,
As if that mine they were not meant to be;
For of the sweetness of the things I have
A churlish conscience dispossesses me.

I do desire, nay, long, to put my powers
To better service than I yet have done --
Not hither, thither, without purpose run,
And gather just a handful of the flowers,
And catch a little sunlight of the sun.

Lamenting all the night and all the day
Occasion lost, and losing in lament
The golden chances that I know were meant
For wiser uses -- asking overpay
When nothing has been earned, and all was lent.

Keeping in dim and desolated ways,
And where the wild winds whistle loud and shrill
Through leafless bushes, and the birds are still,
And where the lights are lights of other days --
A sad insanity o'ermastering will.

And saddest of the sadness is to know
It is not fortune's fault, but only mine,
That far away the hills of roses shine --
And far away the pipes of pleasure blow --
That we, and not our stars, our fates assign.





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