(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

The Tempters

EVERY gentle breeze that's blowing is a tempter very knowing,
For it penetrates my armor in its weakest, thinnest spot;
Though I strive each day to shun it, I have never wholly done it,
For it whispers of enchantments that I know should be forgot.
Every moment it's inviting me to go where fish are biting,
It is telling of the big ones that are lurking in the stream,
And the time I should be working, I am idling here and shirking,
From the duties of the office I am carried in a dream.

Every sunbeam that comes gayly into my grim office daily
Takes the courage from my bosom, makes of me a helpless thing;
It seems as though its mission is to rob me of ambition,
For I always pause to listen to the news it comes to bring.
Soft it mutters, 'they are biting, it is great the way they 're fighting,
As I came from way off yonder I could see them in the bay,
Get your rod and reel and hurry, come away from all the worry!'
And once more I 'm dreaming, dreaming in the middle of the day.

Every breeze that passes by me, every sunbeam dancing nigh me,
Seem to mock me with their freedom and to tempt me from my task,
For they set me vainly wishing to go way off yonder fishing,
To stretch out beneath the willows on the velvet grass and bask.
Well they know my greatest weakness, my shortcomings and my meekness,
Well they know that if they whisper of a blue sky and a stream
Where the finny tribe is lurking, I shall promptly give up working,
And it seems their greatest joy is just to come and make me dream.

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