Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
VI. Human Experience
Easy to Drift
Oliver Huckel (1864–1940)
EASY to drift to the open sea,
The tides are eager and swift and strong,
And whistling and free are the rushing winds,—
But O, to get back is hard and long.
Easy as told in Arabian tale,        5
To free from his jar the evil sprite
Till he rises like smoke to stupendous size,—
But O, nevermore can we prison him tight.
Easy as told in an English tale,
To fashion a Frankenstein, body and soul,        10
And breathe in his bosom a breath of life,—
But O, we create what we cannot control.
Easy to drift to the sea of doubt,
Easy to hurt what we cannot heal,
Easy to rouse what we cannot soothe,        15
Easy to speak what we do not feel,
Easy to show what we ought to conceal,
Easy to think that fancy is fate,—
And O, the wisdom that comes too late!

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