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Like A Vocation Analysis



Author: Poetry of W.H. Auden Type: Poetry Views: 303

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1939Not as that dream Napoleon, rumour's dread and centre,Before who's riding all the crowds divide,

Who dedicates a column and withdraws,

Nor as that general favourite and breezy visitor

To whom the weather and the ruins mean so much,

Nor as any of those who always will be welcome,

As luck or history or fun,

Do not enter like that: all these depart.Claim, certainly, the stranger's right to pleasure:

Ambassadors will surely entertain you

With knowledge of operas and men,

Bankers will ask for your opinion

And the heiress' cheek lean ever so slightly towards you,

The mountains and the shopkeepers accept you

And all your walks be free.But politeness and freedom are never enough,

Not for a life. They lead

Up to a bed that only looks like marriage;

Even the disciplined and distant admiration

For thousands who obviously want nothing

Becomes just a dowdy illness. These have their moderate success;

They exist in the vanishing hour.But somewhere always, nowhere particularly unusual,

Almost anywhere in the landscape of water and houses,

His crying competing unsuccessfully with the cry

Of the traffic or the birds, is always standing

The one who needs you, that terrifiedImaginative child who only knows you

As what the uncles call a lie,

But knows he has to be the future and that only

The meek inherit the earth, and is neither

Charming, successful, nor a crowd;

Alone among the noise and policies of summer,

His weeping climbs towards your life like a vocation.





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