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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
          Life is a stream
          On which we strew
          Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
          The end lost in dream,
          They float past our view,
          We only watch their glad, early start.

          Freighted with hope,
          Crimsoned with joy,
          We scatter the
poem
          Naughty little speckled trout,
          Can't I coax you to come out?
          Is it such great fun to play
          In the water every day?

          Do you pull the Naiads' hair
          Hiding in the lilies there?
          Do you hunt for fishes' eggs,
          Or watch tadpoles grow their
poem
I have painted a picture of a ghost
Upon my kite,
And hung it on a tree.
Later, when I loose the string
And let it fly,
The people will cower
And hide their heads,
For fear of the God
Swimming in the clouds.