Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
Work
By Charles Lamb (1775–1834)
 
WHO first invented work, and bound the free
And holyday-rejoicing spirit down
To the ever-haunting importunity
Of business in the green fields, and the town—
To plough, loom, anvil, spade—and oh! most sad,        5
To that dry drudgery at the desk’s dead wood?
Who but the Being unblest, alien from good,
Sabbathless Satan! he who his unglad
Task ever plies ’mid rotatory burnings,
That round and round incalculably reel—        10
For wrath divine hath made him like a wheel—
In that red realm from which are no returnings;
  Where toiling, and turmoiling, ever and aye
  He, and his thoughts, keep pensive working-day.
 
 
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