Portrait

Because life's passing show
Is little to his mind,
There is a man I know
Indrawn from human kind.
His dearest friends are books;
Yet oh how glad he talks
To birds and trees and brooks
On lonely walks.
He takes the same still way
By grove and hill and sea;
He lives that each new day
May like the last one be.
He hates all kinds of change;
His step is sure and slow:
Though life has little range
He loves it so.

He makes it his one aim
His pleasure to repeat;
To always do the same,
Since sameness is so sweet;
In simple things to find
The dearest to his mood.
His true life in his mind
Is oh so good!

Please leave him to his dream,
This old, unweary man,
Who shuns the busy stream
And has outlived his span.
Just leave him on his shelf
To watch the world go by . . .
Because he is--myself:
Yea, such be I.

by Robert William Service

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