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The Body To The Soul
by [?]


RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED TO AN OVERWORKED STUDENT.

O tyrant soul of mine,
What’s the use
Of this never-ceasing toil,
Of this struggle, this turmoil,
This abuse
Of the body and the brain,
Of this labor and this pain,
Of this never-ceasing strain
On the cords that bind us twain
Each to each?

O tyrant soul of mine,
Is it well
Thus to waste and wear away
The poor, fragile walls of clay
Where you dwell?
Was I made your slave to be–
I the abject, you the free,
That you task me ceaselessly?–
Tyrant soul, come, answer me,
Is it well?

O tyrant soul of mine,
Don’t you know
That in slow, but sure decay,
I am wasting day by day,
While you grow
None the better for the strain
On my nerves and on my brain,
For my head’s incessant pain,
And my sick heart’s longings vain
For repose?

O tyrant soul of mine,
God, the good,
Joined together you and me
In a wondrous unity,
That we should
Work together,-not that I,
You degrade and stupefy,
Nor that you His laws defy
By maltreating ceaselessly
Hapless me!

O tyrant soul of mine,
By and by,
Weary of your cruel reign,
Quite worn out with toil and pain,
I shall die
Then, when I have passed away,
And you’re asked whose hand did slay
Your companion of the clay,
Much I wonder what you’ll say,
Soul of mine!