poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

poetic forms

occasions

About this Poem 

“Leisure” was published in Lowell’s book A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass (Houghton Mifflin company, 1912).

Leisure

Leisure, thou goddess of a bygone age,
   When hours were long and days sufficed to hold
    Wide-eyed delights and pleasures uncontrolled
By shortening moments, when no gaunt presage
Of undone duties, modern heritage,
    Haunted our happy minds; must thou withhold
    Thy presence from this over-busy world,
And bearing silence with thee disengage
    Our twined fortunes? Deeps of unhewn woods
    Alone can cherish thee, alone possess
Thy quiet, teeming vigor. This our crime:
    Not to have worshipped, marred by alien moods
    That sole condition of all loveliness,
The dreaming lapse of slow, unmeasured time.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

Born in 1874, Amy Lowell was deeply interested in and influenced by the Imagist movement and she received the Pulitzer Prize for her collection What's O'Clock.

by this poet

poem
          All night I wrestled with a memory
           Which knocked insurgent at the gates of thought.
           The crumbled wreck of years behind has wrought
          Its disillusion; now I only cry
          For peace, for power to forget the lie
           Which hope too long has whispered. So I sought
poem
          April had covered the hills
           With flickering yellows and reds,
          The sparkle and coolness of snow
           Was blown from the mountain beds.

          Across a deep-sunken stream
           The pink of blossoming trees,
          And from windless appleblooms
           The humming
poem
Hold your soul open for my welcoming.
Let the quiet of your spirit bathe me
With its clear and rippled coolness,
That, loose-limbed and weary, I find rest,
Outstretched upon your peace, as on a bed of ivory.

Let the flickering flame of your soul play all about me,
That into my limbs may come the keenness of fire