Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. Craving for Leisure
By Charles Lamb (1775–1834)
THEY talk of Time, and of Time’s galling yoke,
  That like a millstone on man’s mind doth press,
  Which only works and business can redress;
  Of divine Leisure such foul lies are spoke,
Wounding her fair gifts with calumnious stroke.        5
  But might I, fed with silent meditation,
  Assoiléd live from that fiend Occupation—
  Improbus Labor, which my spirits hath broke—
I ’d drink of time’s rich cup, and never surfeit;
  Fling in more days than went to make the gem        10
  That crowned the white top of Methusalem;
Yea, on my weak neck take, and never forfeit,
  Like Atlas bearing up the dainty sky,
  The heaven-sweet burden of eternity.

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