W.H. Auden, Twelve Songs, Song VII

VII.

Underneath an abject willow,

Lover, sulk no more:

Act from thought should quickly follow.

What is thinking for?

Your unique and moping station

Proves you cold;

Stand up and fold

Your map of desolation.

 

 

Bells that toll across the meadows

From the sombre spire

Toll for these unloving shadows

Love does not require.

All that lives may love; why longer

Bow to loss

With arms across?

Strike and you shall conquer.

 

 

Geese in flocks above you flying.

Their direction know,

Icy brooks beneath you flowing,

To their ocean go.

Dark and dull is your distraction:

Walk then, come,

No longer numb

Into your satisfaction.

 

March 1936

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