Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EARTH'S BURDENS, by ERNEST CHARLES JONES

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EARTH'S BURDENS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Why groaning so, thou solid earth
Last Line: "tis therefore that I groan."
Subject(s): Pain; Suffering; Misery

WHY groaning so, thou solid earth,
Though sprightly summer cheers?
Or is thine old heart dead to mirth?
Or art thou bow'd by years?

"Nor am I cold to summer's prime,
Nor knows my heart decay;
Nor am I bow'd by countless time,
Thou atom of a day!

"I lov'd to list when tree and tide
Their gentle music made,
And lightly on my sunny side
To feel the plough and spade.

"I lov'd to hold my liquid way
Through floods of living light;
To kiss the sun's bright hand by day,
And count the stars by night.

"I lov'd to hear the children's glee,
Around the cottage door,
And peasant's song right merrily
The glebe come ringing o'er.

"But man upon my back has roll'd
Such heavy loads of stone,
I scarce can grow the harvest gold:
'Tis therefore that I groan.

"And when the evening dew sinks mild
Upon my quiet breast,
I feel the tear of the houseless child
Break burning on my rest.

"Oh! where are all the hallow'd sweets,
The harmless joys I gave?
The pavement of your sordid streets
Are stones on Virtue's grave.

"And thick and fast as autumn leaves
My children drop away,
A gathering of unripen'd sheaves
By premature decay.

"Gaunt misery holds the cottage door,
And olden honor's flown,
And slaves are slavish more and more:
'Tis therefore that I groan."

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