Excerpt from Personal Talk
I am not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk…
And, for my chance acquaintance, ladies bright,
Sons, mothers, maidens withering on the stalk,
They all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk
Painted on rich men’s floors, for one feast night.
…And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe
The languid mind into activity.
Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and glee
Are fostered by comment and the gibe.”
…Wings have we,–and as far as we can go,
We may find pleasure, wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky…
…for thus remote
From evil-speaking; rancor, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth or lie.
Hence I have genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thought:
And thus from day to day my little boat
Rocks in the harbor, lodging peaceably.
Blessing be with them—eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares…