Work Without Hope
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair --
The bees are stirring -- birds are on the wing --
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.
Lines composed 21st February 1827
Source:The Golden Book Of Coleridge
London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.
New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.