William Bell Scott

(1811-1890 / Scotland)

Experience - Poem by William Bell Scott

Steadily burning like a lamp enshrined,
The Sanscrit says our lives should pass away;
Even so, but how to guard by night and day
This priceless lamp? From the Unknown God's wind
Fans it for ever, joys and cares combined,
The plague of fire and hail, in through the bars
Of this our prison-house make constant jars;
No heart of flesh can hold their powers confined.

Not then for us in Western lands is it,
Where every hour brings loads enough for years,
Naked on contemplation's mat to sit;
But wee to him who finds no time at all
For questioning, who sleeps in a festive hall;
Who finds no gains in long-remembered tears.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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