When Stretch'D On One's Bed

When stretch'd on one's bed
With a fierce-throbbing head,
Which preculdes alike thought or repose,
How little one cares
For the grandest affairs
That may busy the world as it goes!

How little one feels
For the waltzes and reels
Of our Dance-loving friends at a Ball!
How slight one's concern
To conjecture or learn
What their flounces or hearts may befall.

How little one minds
If a company dines
On the best that the Season affords!
How short is one's muse
O'er the Sauces and Stews,
Or the Guests, be they Beggars or Lords.

How little the Bells,
Ring they Peels, toll they Knells,
Can attract our attention or Ears!
The Bride may be married,
The Corse may be carried
And touch nor our hopes nor our fears.

Our own bodily pains
Ev'ry faculty chains;
We can feel on no subject besides.
Tis in health and in ease
We the power must seize
For our friends and our souls to provide.

by Jane Austen

Comments (1)

I find this poem tells us a message which is known to us but yet eludes us most of the time. We are so enraptured in our day to day activities that we tend to forget that our energy, strength and inspiration is drawn not by strving or pushing ourselves harder and harder but by the simple act of keeping ourselves healthy and mentally relaxed so that we can be our optimum selves. It is then that we can do the most meaningful things in live - helping ourselves and others. As the lines say: Tis in health and in ease We the power must seize For our friends and our souls to provide. As the poet tells us ironically such a lesson is taught to us over and over again not in the excitement and din of daily live but when one is going through pain!