Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, INSCRIPTION: UNDER AN OAK, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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INSCRIPTION: UNDER AN OAK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Here, traveller! Pause awhile. This ancient oak
Last Line: Of all that softens or ennobles man.
Subject(s): Birds; Hearts; Nature; Oak Trees; Rest; Travel; Journeys; Trips


HERE, traveller! pause awhile. This ancient oak
Will parasol thee if the sun ride high,
Or should the sudden shower be falling fast,
Here mayst thou rest umbrella'd. All around
Is good and lovely: hard by yonder wall
The kennel stands; the horse-flesh hanging near
Perchance with scent unsavoury may offend
Thy delicate nostrils, but remember thou
How sweet a perfume to the hound it yields,
And sure its useful odours will regale
More gratefully thy philosophic nose,
Than what the unprofitable violet
Wastes on the wandering wind. Nor wilt thou want
Such music as benevolence will love,
For from these fruitful boughs the acorns fall
Abundant, and the swine that grub around,
Shaking with restless pleasure their brief tails
That like the tendrils of the vine curl up,
Will grunt their greedy joy. Dost thou not love
The sounds that speak enjoyment? Oh if not,
If thou wouldst rather with inhuman ear
Hark to the warblings of some wretched bird
Bereft of freedom, sure thine heart is dead
To each good feeling, and thy spirit void
Of all that softens or ennobles man.





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