Labor is life! 'Tis the still water faileth;
Idleness ever despaireth, bewaileth;
Keep the watch wound, for the dark rust assaileth;
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Labor is glory! The flying cloud lightens;
Only the waving wing changes and brightens!
Idle hearts only the dark future frightens.
Play the sweet keys would’st thou keep them in tune.
Labor is rest from the sorrows that greet us,
Rest from all petty vexations that meet us;
Rest from sin promptings that ever entreat us,
Rest from world-sirens that lure us to ill.
Work, and pure slumbers shall wait on thy pillow!
Work, thou shalt ride over care’s coming billow!
Lie not down wearied ’neath woe’s weeping willow!
Work with a stout heart and resolute will!
- Born on June 18th, 1811 in Boston, Massachusetts and died on May 12th, 1850 of tuberculosis in New York.
- American poet
- Exchanged poems with Edgar Allan Poe