Work without Hope

Lines Composed 21st February 1827

  All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
  The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
  And Winter slumbering in the open air,
  Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
  And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, 
  Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

  Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
  Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
  Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
  For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away! 
  With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
  And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
  Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
  And Hope without an object cannot live.

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