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By Viren Gohil

I envy the hive, and the honey bee-

Not for his honey but his grub.

Not for his legs, but for his wings.

I envy the sawdust-belching train,

And its cargo of crud, and the squeal

Of its fool whistle that never quite learns to feel me in it.

I envy the merchant who put up at my house last night.

He slept in this room; and I with a stranger for my wife.

I envy an eel that is going into a snail shell,

So blind and languishing, and past the possible use of the outer world.

I envy a man who has got a chill in his banquet-hall listening to actors sing.

And I envy Gabriel the Angel preparing backsliders for the pit of hell.

I envy a bad poet his folly, his sneer, and his quill.

And the mob that goes to see him crucified.

And I envy an epicure who is munching spiced pate on toast

When I read what he has done with my fragment of collop.

I envy the fool his ignorance and arrogance,

And I leave him to his abundant prosperity.

I envy a dead man, the worm that hides under the grass-blade.

The grave is warm, and life may come again.

It has been done before; why not for me?

And I envy a baby that sleeps with its mother in her arms.

I envy no man. I am better than a million of you all,

For the poor stone-cutter that shapes my bust knows it to be so,

And yet he has hope and the right to have faith in his work.

Yes--and even those who would jeer at him, those will presently come sighing and saying:

"This is how I wish that mine had turned out."

If one could only begin at the beginning, and have a clear sky.

I envy the flower that sleeps by day in the shade of its tall stem,

And then at night by all its dew and its brightness wakes up to itself.

I envy no man's nightingale. Mine sings to me what it learned in the woods,

But I give no heed. I have got it too. It has crept into my heart forever.

I envy no man's willow that sways by his grave, carrying fruit for birds.

The root is always thirsty; I fill the roots of mine with water from my pitcher,

And it sucks in its fill and never fills the fruit in my heart.

I envy a good woman her God, and her faith in a gentle Christ,

And a belief that all things beautiful will come true in hearts that are pure.

Many another hearts have held beautiful thoughts in their time by chance; but for me nothing know, as truly as ever the sky was blue,

That God's mind has been working in my life-time.

I am a harp attuned to His breath; and He plays on me what He will.

And this is why I envy no man or woman their little hour of gladness,

Their little handful of hope, or their love that is worth the name.

I envy the rose its thorn. The comfort that is kept alive through pain.

I envy the sea its calm, and the waves that fall asleep in the deeps of the ocean;

And white bones over them, and the infinite stillness of death.

How many a king's son has gone down with his ship in the wild midnight!

And what is that to me, whom Death has set his seal and given into my hand?

I envy the lightning its flash in the sky, and its leap to the earth that strikes and shatters,

And its hold on the trees and the rocks and the cliffs of granite.

  • Aron

By Viren Gohil

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