1Walking abroad, once in a summer’s day,
2And (as I well remember) ’twas in May,
3Being tired with fancies, and my panting breast
4Being full of trouble, I looked where I might rest.
5Then down I threw myself upon the grass;
6Some solitary hours I thought to pass.
7Leaning my head against a sycamore,
8My heavy eyes upon the ground did pore.
9Musing and looking on my Mother Earth,
10To which I
must, from whence I drew my breath,
11Then did I think how I to
dust must turn,
12And lie forgotten in my silent urn,
13Where I should lose the comfortable sight
14Of my dear friends, and all-discovering light.
15As I these thoughts within my mind revolved,
16Sighs fills my heart, till they in tears dissolved;
17Then, clearing of mine eyes, I looked
18What I could see to put these sorrows out
19Of my sad heart; where instantly I spied
20A hill of pismires, who their labor plied:
luggered up and down their
22And some with glitt’ring wings that shone like tissue;
23The rest their wheat and other nibbled grain
24Did lay in store from winter’s storms and rain;
25And only those with shining wings did play,
26Seeming to keep perpetual holiday.
27Then instantly my busy mind was hurled,
28Thinking they were an
emblem of the world.
29For all which from this earth do draw their breath
moil and labor in this dunghill earth,
31From kings, who earth’s
elixir seem to have,
32Unto the naked, sunburnt female slave,
33Who with her sweaty, knotty locks unbound
34About the giddy mill, doth
35For who is free, until his soul doth spring
clog, and joyfully takes wing:
37Then, from that distance, we perceive (most plain)
38That all our moiling here is but in vain.
39For earthly glory is our sight’s delusion,
40It proving but a chaos of confusion.
41O then, as I in Heaven have placed my love,
42So I’m ambitious of those joys above;
43Grant me the wings of some unspotted
44To ease the troubles of my throbbing breast,
45That I may fly to my eternal rest.