I Am a Parcel of Vain Strivings Tied

Original Text: 
Collected Poems of Henry David Thoreau, ed. Carl Bode (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1964): 81-82. PS 3041 .B6 1964 Robarts Library
1I am a parcel of vain strivings tied
2        By a chance bond together,
3Dangling this way and that, their links
4        Were made so loose and wide,
5                           Methinks,
6              For milder weather.
7A bunch of violets without their roots,
8        And sorrel intermixed,
9Encircled by a wisp of straw
10        Once coiled about their shoots,
11                           The law
12              By which I'm fixed.
13A nosegay which Time clutched from out
14        Those fair Elysian fields,
15With weeds and broken stems, in haste,
16        Doth make the rabble rout
17                           That waste
18              The day he yields.
19And here I bloom for a short hour unseen,
20        Drinking my juices up,
21With no root in the land
22        To keep my branches green,
23                           But stand
24              In a bare cup.
25Some tender buds were left upon my stem
26        In mimicry of life,
27But ah! the children will not know,
28        Till time has withered them,
29                           The woe
30              With which they're rife.
31But now I see I was not plucked for naught,
32        And after in life's vase
33Of glass set while I might survive,
34        But by a kind hand brought
35                           Alive
36              To a strange place.
37That stock thus thinned will soon redeem its hours,
38        And by another year,
39Such as God knows, with freer air,
40        More fruits and fairer flowers
41                           Will bear,
42              While I droop here.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004