Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE 'CLOSED-INS', by CHARLES LOUIS HENRY WAGNER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE 'CLOSED-INS', by            
First Line: Doomed to be 'compassed by four walls
Last Line: Hell has no part in this.
Subject(s): Conformity; Grief; Sorrow; Sadness

Doomed to be 'compassed by four walls,
While the whole world goes singing and free,
To respond in your soul to the earth calls
That Nature is sending to thee;
To feel in your heart a desire
To burst every barrier down,
To sacrifice Hope on a pyre,
To be told you are earning a crown;
Hell has nothing like this.

To see all there is in a vision
Restricted and cabined by fate,
To know every outline's precision
Till your soul is just burning with hate;
To die every night and recover
When the sun bursts through chinks in the blind,
To be of æsthetics a lover,
Yet meeting but little refined:
Hell is Heaven to this.

To know that the morrow will bring back
The same that it brought you to-day,
To hunger, and yet not for bread lack,
To doubt, while your tongue tries to pray;
To envy, yet knowing how foolish
Is envy when it cannot gain,
To smile when you want to be mulish,
To suffer and yet deny pain,
Hell is gladness to this.

Where, friend, is the joy of the "closed-in"?
Pray tell this old pessimist bard,
A secret is safe when reposed in
A heart that holds all in regard;
Mayhap that there's joy just in living,
A part of the Infinite's scheme,
And God is sustaining and giving
Much more than we healthy folks dream.
Hell has no part in this.

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