Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Climbing to Rest
By Lucy Larcom (1826–1893)
 
[Born in Beverly, Mass., 1826. Died in Boston, Mass., 1893. Poetical Works. 1885.]

STILL must I climb, if I would rest:
The bird soars upward to his nest;
The young leaf on the tree-top high
Cradles itself within the sky.
 
The streams, that seem to hasten down,        5
Return in clouds, the hills to crown;
The plant arises from her root,
To rock aloft her flower and fruit.
 
I cannot in the valley stay:
The great horizons stretch away!        10
The very cliffs that wall me round
Are ladders unto higher ground.
 
To work—to rest—for each a time;
I toil, but I must also climb.
What soul was ever quite at ease        15
Shut in by earthly boundaries?
 
I am not glad till I have known
Life that can lift me from my own:
A loftier level must be won,
A mightier strength to lean upon.        20
 
And heaven draws near as I ascend;
The breeze invites, the stars befriend:
All things are beckoning toward the Best:
I climb to thee, my God, for rest!
 
 
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