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Fleeing Away

My thoughts soar not as they ought to soar,
Higher and higher on soul-lent wings;
But ever and often and more and more
They are dragged down earthward by little things,
By little troubles and little needs,
As a lark might be tangled among the weeds.

My purpose is not what it ought to be,
Steady and fixed, like a star on high,
But more like a fisherman’s light at sea;
Hither and thither it seems to fly
Sometimes feeble, and sometimes bright,
Then suddenly lost in the gloom of night.

My life is far from my dream of life
Calmly contented, serenely glad;
But, vexed and worried by daily strife,
It is always troubled and ofttimes sad
And the heights I had thought I should reach one day
Grow dimmer and dimmer, and farther away.

My heart never finds the longed-for rest;
Its worldly striving, its greed for gold,
Chilled and frightened the calm-eyed guest
Who sometimes sought me in days of old;
And ever fleeing away from me
Is the higher self that I long to be.

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Poem Fleeing Away - Ella Wheeler Wilcox