My mother always used to quote the first two lines of this poem, but didn’t know any more.  It drove me mad so when I had to learn my own choice of poem for an exam as a teenager, I went out and found it.  Funny thing is that I still only remember the first two lines, but I love the whole poem.

W. H. Davies


WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

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