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   Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
 
 
NUMBER:2072
AUTHOR:James Russell Lowell (1819–91)
QUOTATION:Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,
The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,
We bargain for the graves we lie in;
At the Devil’s booth are all things sold,
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking:
’T is heaven alone that is given away,
’T is only God may be had for the asking;
No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten.
ATTRIBUTION:JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, “The Vision of Sir Launfal,” prelude to part 1, lines 21–38, The Vision of Sir Launfal and Other Poems, p. 4–5 (1887).
SUBJECTS:Worth
 
 
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