by Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell

Happiness, to some, elation;

Is, to others, mere stagnation.

Days of passive somnolence,

At its wildest, indolence.

Hours of empty quietness,

No delight, and no distress.

Happiness to me is wine,

Effervescent, superfine.

Full of tang and fiery pleasure,

Far too hot to leave me leisure

For a single thought beyond it.

Drunk! Forgetful! This the bond: it

Means to give one's soul to gain

Life's quintessence. Even pain

Pricks to livelier living, then

Wakes the nerves to laugh again,

Rapture's self is three parts sorrow.

Although we must die to-morrow,

Losing every thought but this;

Torn, triumphant, drowned in bliss.

Happiness: We rarely feel it.

I would buy it, beg it, steal it,

Pay in coins of dripping blood

For this one transcendent good.