Dolce Far Niente 13
Dolce Far Niente
Is life worth loafing ? Come, recline with me
And lazily this fragant afternoon
We’ll weigh the idle theme. I often think,
If with protean versatility
I might luxuriously loaf my days,
I would no longer quarrel with the powers
That called me forth. I would not be a man,
Nor god, nor beast, nor bird, nor anything;
Yet each whene’er I listed.
I would rise
And, as an eagle, float in circles slow,
That swing too wide and high for mortal ken,
Or as a flesh-gorged leopard, in the sun
Bask by a rocky den, or as a god
Of some hushed sea lie sweltering on the sand,
While crawled the servile waves to kiss my feet.
Yet with environment I would not keep
Strict correspondence, but with every whim
Would loll where’er, whene’er I pleased.
Before Jove’s throne, upon Olympus stretched
With hands beneath my head, with careless eyes
Exploring the vasty, vaulted heavens, I’d munch
The rustic straw, or in the fatted form
Of some church-going citizen would yawn
While Hermes or Apollo spake.
Like that famed, errant Babylonian king,
In horn-deep pastures I would graze and stray;
And under odorous, knoll-crowning trees
At noonday ruminate the leisurely cud.
When all aweary of each languorous change
I longed for sleep, with drooping wings I’d sink
Adown the ether till some gloom I found,
Where cool and mornless night would woo my soul
To dreamless rest. When I awaked again
Some newer charm of indolence I’d find.
Ah, friend, for living life has little worth—
But for such loafing! Let us dream of it.