I Cannot Deem Why Men Toil So For Fame by Alexander Smith

I cannot deem why men toil so for Fame.
A porter is a porter though his load
Be the oceaned world, and although his road
Be down the ages. What is in a name?
Ah! ’tis our spirit’s curse to strive and seek.
Although its heart is rich in pearls and ores,
The Sea complains upon a thousand shores;
Sea-like we moan for ever. We are weak.
We ever hunger for diviner stores.
I cannot say I have a thirsting deep
For human fame, nor is my spirit bowed
To be a mummy above ground to keep
For stare and handling of the vulgar crowd,
Defrauded of my natural rest and sleep.

From: Smith, Alexander, Poems, 1854, David Bogue: London, p. 242.
(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42301/42301-h/42301-h.htm#Page_239)

Date: 1854

From: Alexander Smith (1830-1867)

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