I have been a spendthrift Dropping from lazy fingers Quiet coloured hours, Fluttering away from me Like oak and beech leaves in October. I have lived keenly and wastefully, Like a bush or a sun insect— Lived sensually and thoughtfully, Loving the flesh and the beauty of this world— Green ivy about ruined towers, The out-pouring of the grey sea, And the ecstasy Of a pale clear sky at sunset. I have been prodigal of love For cities and for lonely places; I have tried not to hate mankind; I have gathered sensations Like ripe fruits in a rich orchard… All this is gone; There are no leaves, no sea, No shade of a rich orchard, Only a sterile, dusty waste, Empty and threatening. I long vainly for solitude And the lapse of silent hours; I am frantic to throw off My heavy cloth and leather garments, To set free my feet and body; And I am so far from beauty That a yellow daisy seems to clutch my heart With eager searching petals, And I am grateful even to humility For the taste of pure, clean bread.
This poem is in the public domain.
Richard Aldington was born in Hampshire, England, in 1892. An early member of the Imagist movement, he was the author of War and Love (1915-1919) (The Four Seas Company, 1919), Images (The Egoist, 1919), and numerous other books of poetry and prose.
Date Published: 2018-11-11
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/bondage