Sooth 'twere a pleasant life to lead,
With nothing in the world to do,
But just to blow a shepherd's reed
The silent season through,
And just to drive a flock to feed —
Sheep, quiet, fond, and few!
Pleasant to breathe beside a brook,
And count the bubbles — love-worlds — there;
To muse upon some minstrel's book,
Or watch the haunted air;
To slumber in some leafy nook —
Or, idle anywhere.
And then a draught of nature's wine,
A meal of summer's daintiest fruit;
To take the air with forms divine;
Clouds, silvery, cool, and mute;
Descending, if the night be fine,
In a star-parachute.
Give me to live with love alone,
And let the world go dine and dress:
For love hath lowly haunts — a stone
Holds something meant to bless.
If life's a flower, I choose my own —
'Tis "Love in Idleness"!