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  O idleness, too fond of me,
  Begone, I know and hate thee!
  Nothing canst thou of pleasure see
  In one that so doth rate thee;

  For empty are both mind and heart
  While thou with me dost linger;
  More profit would to thee impart
  A babe that sucks its finger.

  I know thou hast a better way
  To spend these hours thou squand'rest;
  Some lad toils in the trough to-day
  Who groans because thou wand'rest;

  A bleating sheep he dowses now
  Or wrestles with ram's terror;
  Ah, 'mid the washing's hubbub, how
  His sighs reproach thine error!

  He knows and loves thee, Idleness;
  For when his sheep are browsing,
  His open eyes enchant and bless
  A mind divinely drowsing;

  No slave to sleep, he wills and sees
  From hill-lawns the brown tillage;
  Green winding lanes and clumps of trees,
  Far town or nearer village,

  The sea itself; the fishing feet
  Where more, thine idle lovers,
  Heark'ning to sea-mews find thee sweet
  Like him who hears the plovers.

  Begone; those haul their ropes at sea,
  These plunge sheep in yon river:
  Free, free from toil thy friends, and me
  From Idleness deliver!

© Thomas Sturge Moore