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Experiment 4

Light Work for Idle Hands

page 3

Light Work for Idle Hands

We voyaged out for Ithaca
In search of who knows what
Idle and fabled bauble,
And this is what we gots:
An offer of right reason
For everything Man did,
But in thought's winter season
Our trinket still lay hid.

That isn't what we wanted.
It isn't here at all.
Our dreams are as the shadows
That waver on the wall.

We marched as armoured warriors
Strong clad for iron deeds.
Ready to follow anywhere
That the path of action leads;
But all we got was glory,
A medal to put on,
Old men to tell the story
Of the battles we won.

That isn't what we wanted.
It isn't here at all.
The trumpet-voice of victory
Echoes thin and small.

We tramped the roads as tinkers.
We hadn't any goal
Except to crack the clinkers
When we spat upon the coal.
At our burners in the twilight
Content to sit and gaze,
Joy in our hearts as bright
As the faces in the blaze.

If that isn't what we wanted
Is it anywhere at all
Between the first shoot's leaping
And the last leaf's fall?