Professor's Miscellany

 

To Conscience

Arouse! Fight on! Combat and conquer;
Evil are the forces.
I have struggled and am tired
Of this road embriared;
Let things take their courses.

I have fought and got no gain;
Toiled and been passed by
By all save wound and pain;
Others work and take their joy;
Now, stern comrade, so shall I,
Sick, sick, of thy endless employ.

Shall I never know pleasure?
Never know rest from strain?
Let me sail a sea of azure
Wave on wave of pleasure
Turn from treading this path of rocks
With no drug for bruise save its stain.

Give me rest for I am tired;
Nor ask me how I reconcile
My cowards choice of pleasured ease
with ideals that once inspired.

Comrade conscience, cease thy talk—
Your part but talk as mine was strife—
While I do take this flowered walk
And dally with sweet soft things alluring.
Rested mayhap, Ill resume thy hard life
Of search, stern comrade, for things enduring.
      John Dewey