| Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.|
|AUTHOR:||James Russell Lowell (181991)|
|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 Devils 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 souls 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 2138, The Vision of Sir Launfal and Other Poems, p. 45 (1887).|