The Ways of the World
by Sir Aubrey de Vere
Unfeeling World! I mourn your vanished worth:
For when I look around, where'er I turn,
I can see nought but selfishness on earth;
The Rich are grown too strong, the Poor forlorn;
The tongue of Malice thrives; and there's a dearth
Of all the milder traits that should adorn
Or smooth the frailties of our human birth.
O! I would rather, in some distant nook,
Beneath a sheltering oak, beside a brook,
Far from the varying passions of mankind,
Know nothing of their ways but in a book;
Be to their follies deaf, their vices blind,
And leave, for ever, all their joys and griefs behind!