These lines have been taken from the poem “Leisure” written by William Davies.
This poem is a protest against the unnecessary commitment of man with worldly affairs. We are always in a hurry and have no leisure time to look at the beauty spread all around us. Man’s miserable life brings him nothing but sadness and worries.
Explanation: (Lines 1 – 4)
In these lines the poet bewails our rushed life. The poet says that we cannot call this life a pure life, if it is full of worries and anxiety. We have no time to stand at a certainplace and look carefully at nature. Even we cannot spare a few moments to stand under the branches of green trees and njoy the beautiful and restful shades of the trees. The common animals like sheep and cows are better than us in enjoying life. We cannot look at the common animals like sheep and cows grazing in the pastures. We have committed ourselves with worldly affairs unnecessarily and cannot enjoy nature and the natural beauty spread all around us.
(Lines 5 – 6)
In these lines the poet tells us, when we pass through some forest, we do not have time to stop for some moments to look at the trees tall and short, and enjoy their naturalbeauty. The dark green trees provide a soothing effect but we are always sick-hurried and cannot enjoy at least the simple beauty. Also we cannot look at the small animals like squirrels concealing their food-grain in the grass for the winter. This minor scene can also give us relief.
(Lines 7 – 8)
In these lines the poet says that human beings cannot see the beauty that is hidden in the streams. During day time, when the rays of the sun fall upon the clear water of the brooks, the water reflects and shines like stars in the sky during night. Sometimes water of streams, because of its
clearness seems so beautiful that even stones beneath the water can be observed, which look like stars in the clear blue water. This scene also resembles the stars shining in the sky at night.
(Lines 9 – 10) & (11 – 12)
The poet says we are so hard luck that we cannot watch a girl or a woman who dances in the field. The feet of the dancing girl are very attractive and bewitching but we cannot spare time to look at these feet as how they dance. This dancing girl can also amuse us with her performance. The
poet also mourns that we have no time to wait for the words, the mouth of the dancing girl has to utter. As a sort of smile has appeared in her eyes but we cannot wait for such time as
the words from her eyes are transferred to her lips. Those words can amuse us. In fact the poet uses personification, a poetic device to explain the natural beauty scattered all around us. The poet personifies beauty as a young beautiful dancing girl having a smiling face.
(Lines 13 – 14)
In these concluding lines the poet regrets to say that ours is a poor life. In a way it cannot be life if it is full of cares and worries. Unluckily, we have no time to stand at a place and look carefully at nature that can refresh us. As such our life is nothing but lamentation through and through. As
human beings we should spare some moments and look at nature and natural beauty spread around us and enjoy life.