Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

A Tusculan Question - Poem by Alfred Austin

One day as on an ass I rode,
By many a twisting gully,
To where once stood the famed abode
Of philosophic Tully,

A shepherd lad with hat aslouch
Was singing to his flock O;
I pulled my money from my pouch,
And chucked him a baiocco.

A moment gone, and with his psalm
The hills and woods were ringing;
But when the copper touched his palm,
Sudden he ceased his singing.

Ah! like to bees that cease to hum,
When pressing on for honey,
So doth the singing soul grow dumb,
Intent on clogging money.

Kind Heaven! forbid that ever I
Should sink in golden torpor!
If, living, I may sing, I'll die
Contentedly a pauper.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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