To Solitude

By Alice Cary 1820–1871 Alice Cary
I am weary of the working,
   Weary of the long day’s heat;
To thy comfortable bosom,
   Wilt thou take me, spirit sweet?

Weary of the long, blind struggle
   For a pathway bright and high,—
Weary of the dimly dying
   Hopes that never quite all die.

Weary searching a bad cipher
   For a good that must be meant;
Discontent with being weary,—
   Weary with my discontent.

I am weary of the trusting
   Where my trusts but torments prove;
Wilt thou keep faith with me? wilt thou
   Be my true and tender love?

I am weary drifting, driving
   Like a helmless bark at sea;
Kindly, comfortable spirit,
   Wilt thou give thyself to me?

Give thy birds to sing me sonnets?
   Give thy winds my cheeks to kiss?
And thy mossy rocks to stand for
   The memorials of our bliss?

I in reverence will hold thee,
   Never vexed with jealous ills,
Though thy wild and wimpling waters
   Wind about a thousand hills.

Source: American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (The Library of America, 1993)

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Poet Alice Cary 1820–1871

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity, Activities, Jobs & Working

Poetic Terms Ode

 Alice  Cary

Biography

The sisters Alice and Phoebe Cary grew up on a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio. There they immersed themselves in the classics of literature under the tutelage of an older sister whose death in 1833 affected them deeply. Although both published poems while still teenagers, it wasn’t until 1850, after their work had been noticed by such luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe and John Greenleaf Whittier, that a book—Poems of Alice and Phoebe . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Time & Brevity, Activities, Jobs & Working

Poetic Terms Ode

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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