Raleigh Was Right 

We cannot go into the country
for the country will bring us no peace
What can the small violets tell us
that grow on furry stems in
the long grass amoung lance shaped leaves?

Though you praise us
and call to mind the poets
who sung of our loveliness
it was long ago!
long ago! when country people
would plow and sow
with flowering minds and pockets at ease —
if ever this were true.

Not now.  Love itself a flower
with roots in a parched ground.
Empty pockets make empty heads.
Cure it if you can but
do not believe that we can live
today in the country
for the country will bring us no peace

William Carlos Williams

 

 

Source:

Williams, William Carlos.  “Raleigh Was Right.”  Carl E. Bain, Jerome Beaty, & J. Paul Hunter, ed.  The Norton Introduction to Literature.  6th ed.  New York:  W W Norton, 1995.  990-1.

Text of the poem is from:

Williams, William Carlos.  “Raleigh Was Right.”  Collected Poems 1939-1962, Vol. II.  New York: New Directions, 1962 (1944).