Fatigue

By Amy Lowell

Stupefy my heart to every day’s monotony,

Seal up my eyes, I would not look so far,

Chasten my steps to peaceful regularity,

Bow down my head lest I behold a star.

Fill my days with work,

A thousand calm necessities,

Leaving no moment to consecrate to hope,

Girdle my thoughts within the dull circumferences

Of facts which form the actual

In one short hour’s scope.

Give me dreamless sleep,

And loose night’s power over me,

Shut my ears to sounds only tumultuous then,

Bid Fancy slumber,

And steal away its potency,

Or Nature wakes and strives to live again.

Let each day pass, well ordered in its usefulness,

Unlit by sunshine, unscarred by storm;

Dower me with strength and curb

All foolish eagerness ––

The law exacts obedience.

Instruct, I will conform.

This poem was originally published in Lowell’s book A Dome of Many-Coloured Glass in 1912. It is now in the public domain.

Amy Lowell (1874-1925) posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1926.

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