Walden

All Rights Reserved ©

1. complementary verses

The Pretensions of Poverty

Thou dost presume too much, poor needy wretch, To claim a station in the firmament Because thy humble cottage, or thy tub, Nurses some lazy or pedantic virtue In the cheap sunshine or by shady springs, With roots and pot-herbs; where thy right hand, Tearing those humane passions from the mind, Upon whose stocks fair blooming virtues flourish, Degradeth nature, and benumbeth sense, And, Gorgon-like, turns active men to stone. We not require the dull society Of your necessitated temperance, Or that unnatural stupidity That knows nor joy nor sorrow; nor your forc'd Falsely exalted passive fortitude Above the active. This low abject brood, That fix their seats in mediocrity, Become your servile minds; but we advance Such virtues only as admit excess, Brave, bounteous acts, regal magnificence, All-seeing prudence, magnanimity That knows no bound, and that heroic virtue For which antiquity hath left no name, But patterns only, such as Hercules, Achilles, Theseus. Back to thy loath'd cell; And when thou seest the new enlightened sphere, Study to know but what those worthies were.

T. CAREW

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.