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John Nichol
1833 - 1894


Our life is spent in little things,

In little cares our hearts are drown'd;

We move, with heavy-laden wings,

In the same narrow round.

We waste on wars and petty strife,

And squander in a thousand ways,

The fire that should have been the life

And power of after days.

We toil to make an outward show,

And only now and then reveal

How far the under currents flow

Of all we think and feel.

Mining in caves of ancient lore,

Un weaving endless webs of thoughts,

We do what has been done of yore:

And so we come to nought.

The Spirit longs for wider scope,

And room to let its fountains play

Ere it has lost its love and hope,

Tamed down or worn away.

I wander by the cloister walls,

My fancy fretting to be free

As, through the twilight, voices call

From mountain and from sea.

Forgive me if I feel oppress'd

By Custom, lord of all and me !

My soul springs upward, seeking rest,

And cries for liberty.


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