Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALL INFLUENCES WERE IN VAIN, by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ALL INFLUENCES WERE IN VAIN, by             Poet's Biography
Last Line: The creature kept so well to heel!
Alternate Author Name(s): Stevenson, Robert Lewis Balfour
Subject(s): Grief; Regret

All influences were in vain,
The sun dripped gold among the trees,
The fresh breeze blew, the woody plain
Ruffled and whispered in the breeze.

All day the sea was on one hand,
The long beach shone with sun and wet''"
We walked in trio on the sand,
My shadow, I and my regret!

Eve came. I clambered to my bed,
Regret lay restless by my side,
The thought-wheels galloped in my head
All night into the morning tide.

The thought-wheels span so madly quick,
So many thousand times an hour,
Thought after thought took life, as thick
As bats in some old belfry tower.

My mind was in fimeute! each thought
Usurped its individual right.
In vain, I temporised''"I sought
In vain to hold a plebiscite!

Thoughts jostled thoughts''"By hill and glade
They scattered far and wide like sheep,
I stretched my arms''"I cried''"I prayed''"
They heard not''"I began to weep.[1]

My head grew giddy-weak''"I tried
To drown my reason. All in vain.
I lay upon my face and cried
Most bitterly to God again.

God put a thought into my hand,
God gave me a resolve, an aim.
I blew it trumpet-wise''"the band
Of scattered fancies heard and came.

They heard the bugle tones I blew''"
The wandering thoughts came dropping in;
They took their ranks in silence due''"
One hour, and would the march begin?

The march began; and once begun
The serious purpose, true design
Has held my being knit in one''"
My being kept the thoughts in line.

Since then, the waves are still. The tide
Sets steadily and strongly out.
The sea shines tranquil, far and wide,
My mind is past the surf of doubt.

The pole-star of my purpose keeps
The constant line that I should steer.
At night my weary body sleeps,
My brain works orderly and clear.

All things are altered since I set
The steady goal before my face;
All things are changed; and my regret
Is advertising for a place!

"Companion for an invalide''"
The Renfi-sort preferred''"genteel
And orthodox." I wish it speed''"
The creature kept so well to heel!

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