Longing Poem by Ina D. Coolbrith


O foolish wisdom sought in books!
O aimless fret of household tasks!
O chains that bind the hand and mind-
A fuller life my spirit asks.

For there the grand hills, summer-crown’d,
Slope greenly downward to the seas:
One hour of rest upon their breast
Were worth a year of days like these.

Their cool, soft green to ease the pain
Of eyes that ache o’er printed words;
This weary noise—the city’s voice,
Lulled in the sound of bees and birds.

For Eden’s life within me stirs,
And scorns the shackles that I wear.
The man-life grand: pure soul, strong hand,
The limb of steel, the heart of air!

And I could kiss, with longing wild,
Earth’s dear brown bosom, loved so much,
A grass-blade fanned across my hand,
Would thrill me like a lover’s touch.

The trees would talk with me; the flowers
Their hidden meanings each make known—
The olden lore revived once more,
When man’s and nature’s heart were one.

And as the pardoned pair might come
Back to the garden God first framed,
And hear Him call at even-fall,
And answer, “ Here am I, ” unashamed-

So I, from out these toils, wherein
The Eden-faith growns stained and dim,
Would walk, a child, through Nature’s wild,
And hear His voice and answer Him.

Ina D. Coolbrith

Ina D. Coolbrith

Nauvoo, Illinois (Josephine D. Smith)
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