Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RETIREMENT, by JOHN LAWSON STODDARD



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RETIREMENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Spirit of solitude, silence, and rest
Last Line: Freedom for solitude, silence, and rest.
Subject(s): Life; Nature; Rest; Retirement; Silence; Solitude; Loneliness


Spirit of solitude, silence, and rest,
Take me once more, like a child, to your breast!
Weary of worldliness, turmoil, and hate,
Welcome me back, if it be not too late,
Back to the realm of ideals and dreams,
Hush of the forest and cadence of streams!

What have I found in life's whirlpool of haste?
Pitiful poverty, limitless waste,
Sad disillusionments, losses of friends,
Treacherous methods for fraudulent ends,
Idle frivolity, senseless display,
Youth without reverence, faith in decay.

Gladly I turn from the roar of the crowd,
Hand of the beggar, and purse of the proud,
Gladly go back to the humming of bees,
Carols of birds, and the whisper of trees,
Gladly dispense with the voices of men,
Thankful to hear only Nature again.

Out from the mob with its furious pace
Into the cool, quiet reaches of space;
Rid of Society's glittering chains,
Fleeing a prison and finding the plains;
Far from the clangor of murderous cars,
Losing the limelight, but gaining . . . the stars!

Others may live in the turbulent throng,
Others may struggle to rectify wrong,
Strive with the strenuous, laugh with the gay,
I too have striven and laughed in my day;
But of life's blessings I crave now the best, --
Freedom for solitude, silence, and rest.





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