Lotus Eaters

Why should we toil..?

As I stepped out for a walk the afternoon, this sight greeted me from across the street.

Tennyson’s poem has men asking why they alone, amongst all of Earth’s creatures, should toil. They, the roof and crown of all living things. These beasts don’t ask. They just move on in and set to lounging.

II

Why are we weigh’d upon with heaviness,

And utterly consumed with sharp distress,

While all things else have rest from weariness?

All things have rest: why should we toil alone,

We only toil, who are the first of things,

And make perpetual moan,

Still from one sorrow to another thrown:

Nor ever fold our wings,

And cease from wanderings,

Nor steep our brows in slumber’s holy balm;

Nor harken what the inner spirit sings,

“There is no joy but calm!”

Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

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