I was wandering in the park
just before it was getting dark,
when a passing thought came to me
how lucky birds were to be free.
I wanted then to stop and stare
at a pony, and a grey mare,
I quote a very famous ode
which came into mind as I strode.
I asked aloud with no-one there:
‘What is this life if full of care?’
There’s so much stress in this old life,
we’re all weighed down with lots of strife:
money worries, our mortgage debt,
and rising costs cause us to fret.
We have so little time to spare,
time off from labour is quite rare.
Weekends are spent sorting things out,
‘cept when we go out and about.
What a shame that when we get there
we have no time to stand and stare!
Ringing penetrated my dream –
my mobile phone – it made me scream.
Family called. My walk was through.
“Come back quickly – we all need you,”
demanded my panicking spouse.
“You’ll have to come back to the house.
We’ve burned dinner, we’re in a mess.”
No way to make my head ache less!
No more time to ponder or browse;
no time to stand beneath the boughs.
I wondered what they all would do
without me and my homemade stew!
It wouldn’t hurt them much I’m sure
to have checked dinner well before.
It should be in our marriage vows –
some peace and quiet when time allows.
Couldn’t I enjoy these minutes
on my own here with the linnets?
Oh to have some spare time to browse
and stare as long as sheep or cows!
‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows.’
So said William Henry Davies
C.W. Exercise – Write a poem of four stanzas, 10 lines each, using one line of a chosen famous poem to end each stanza with 6th, 9th and 10th lines rhyming.